UAE employers will face action if staff don't sign up for ID

At the end of 2010, expatriates without ID cards will have illegal status and their employers will be penalised, a top official warned on Monday.

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Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: At the end of 2010, expatriates without ID cards will have illegal status and their employers will be penalised, a top official warned on Monday.

"Without the cards, expats will face difficulties dealing with all sorts of transactions with government and private entities, as their status will be illegal.

Schools will not accept admission of their children and their employers will be taken to task for recruiting them," said Darwish Ahmad Al Zarouni, Director General of the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA).

All expatriates will be required to have the national identity card for governmental, semi-governmental and private transactions by the end of 2010.

Starting November 1, foreign businessmen, investors and company managers will be required to register for the national identity card which can be used as a multipurpose smartcard, Al Zarouni said.

He added that EIDA plans to complete registration of professionals including doctors, engineers, accountants and teachers at the end of October.

EIDA started the registration for professionals on July 1.

EIDA started registration of expatriate employees of federal and local government organisations on June 1. The expats in the government sector have to complete the registration at the end of October, Al Zarouni said.

He said the registration of Emiratis is continuing and EIDA is committed to finishing their registration by the end of this year.

Approximately 70 per cent of Emiratis have already registered. Emiratis without identity cards will not be able to receive any services from government, semi-government and even private organisations from the beginning of next year.

Al Zarouni said EIDA will have access to the Ministry of Labour's database to integrate labour cards with national identity cards, as per an agreement signed by both parties.

The agreement between the ministry and EIDA will facilitate identity cards being issued to approximately 3.1 million workers.

EIDA had been entrusted a project worth $55 million (Dh202 million) to issue approximately five million ID cards to both citizens and expatriates by 2010.

Residents can get rewards for giving suggestions to improve the national identity cards and services related to it, the EIDA announced yesterday.

Residents and EIDA staff can earn reward points by offering suggestions to improve the services; the points will be appliedto rewards which could be prize money or appreciation letters, Al Zarouni said.

New document: How to get it

In April 2006 the UAE Government introduced a single national identity card. This card is compulsory for everyone living legally in the UAE, including nationals, expatriates and GCC citizens.

It is mandatory for expatriates who are at least 15 years old living lawfully in the UAE to obtain a registration card.

For children below 15, registration for the Population Register and ID card programme is also mandatory, although having an ID for them is a matter of choice and is subject to a guardian's consent.

The Population Register includes a centralised database that includes the aim of upgrading governmental services and putting an end to forgery.


1. Book an online appointment

2. Before going for your appointment, fill in an online application form from the EIDA website ( and take a printout, using a laser printer.

3. Visit the nearest EIDA service centre and pay the registration fee, while submitting your form.

4. Allow biometric and fingerprinting to be done and get your original documents scanned.

5. You can either choose to have your National ID card sent to you by Empost or personally collect it after three working days.

EIDA can also be contacted on: 600 523 432

- Alice Johnson, Staff Reporter