Dubai Airports smart gates
Smart gates at Dubai airports Image Credit: GDRFA

Abu Dhabi: All UAE nationals, GCC citizens and expatriates in the UAE will now be required to use their passports, and not their national identity cards, to enter and exit UAE airports, Gulf News can reveal.

According to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, the temporary suspension of the use of the ID card is part of the measures being taken by the UAE authorities to check the spread of coronavirus.

Unlike an ID, a person’s passport carries a stamp of the countries last visited.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship’s decision will come into effect from midnight on Friday, February 28.

Under the decision, it is mandatory for individuals to use the passport so that their movement to and from the countries can be monitored, thus helping to check the spread of the novel coronavirus, in line with the requirements of the World Health Organisation.

“At Abu Dhabi Airport, all passengers are required to travel with their passport since no one can pass through E-gates using his or her ID alone. The suspension covers people all nationalities and expatriates who have registered with e-gate and are permitted to travel with ID cards,” a source at the authority told Gulf News.

UAE residents who are currently abroad and have used the ID card, as well as expatriates who came to the country prior to this announcement, are excluded from the directive.

The authority said the temporary suspension of ID cards for entry and exit is subject to review.