UAE residents queue at a typing centre in Bin Sougat Mall in Rashidiya to have their National ID card applications registered. Image Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A large number of residents who have not received their National ID cards after completing the registration process will start receiving the cards soon thanks to a number of initiatives taken by the Emirates Identity Authority (Eida), a top official told Gulf News on Sunday.

Radio2: Nasreen Abdulla reports on the fast tracking of ID cards delivery by Eida

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Distributing the cards through post offices of Emirates Post and engaging another courier company to despatch the cards are some of the new initiatives, Dr Ali Al Khoury, Director General of Eida, said in an interview.

Eida will soon send text messages to all applicants, giving details of the delivery of the cards, he said.

Complaints

Gulf News had taken up with Eida several complaints from its readers on delayed delivery of cards.

A large number of cards were not delivered as the courier company assigned to do the task could not handle the volume of the number of cards due for delivery in the past few months, he said. Empost is an express courier service whereas Emirates Post is the organisation providing postal services in the UAE.

Empost has been delivering the cards since 2007. But its daily capacity of delivery has been 3,500 cards whereas Eida started printing 10,000 to 12,000 a day in recent months due to the increasing number of registrations, Al Khoury explained.

Although the official did not reveal the exact number of cards awaiting delivery, he hinted that "the number would be in thousands". "About 80 per cent of the calls received at our call centre were complaints of delayed delivery of cards," he said. Empost will hand over the pending cards to some of the [selected] post offices of Emirates Post across the country, from where the applicants will be able to collect the cards, he said.

"Apart from the message from Eida, Empost will also send [text messages] to the applicants in this regard," Al Khoury said.

Registration

Crowds in front of typing centres and Eida registration centres in December have dwindled since the beginning of this year, but a large number of people are registering every day.

"Although the deadline for expatriates has been linked to their visa renewal, around 10,000 people are registering every day across the country," Ali Al Khoury said.

For the first time in the history of Eida, registrations crossed the 200,000 mark in a month in January, he said. About 223,806 residents completed their registration in January and 229,002 cards were issued in the same period, he said.

About 216,000 filled out the applications in January and they will be registering this month and in the coming months.

He attributed three factors for the increasing number of registrations. A large number of expatriates had filled out forms at the typing centres in December to meet the deadline. Many government and private organisations have made arrangements with Eida to register their employees. "They constitute 20 to 30 per cent of the total number of applicants."

Linking issuance and renewal of residence visa with ID card registration in Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah had also contributed to the increased numbers, he said.

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