Abu Dhabi: The UAE has received official certification for having the largest biometric database in the world.

The population register of Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) has more than 103 million digital fingerprints and more than 15 million digital facial recognition records, which includes multiple records of each UAE resident, and digital signatures as of mid-October 2012.

World Record Academy has now recognised it as the largest such database in the world.

As Gulf News reported on October 15, 2012, Emirates ID had submitted an application to the World Record Academy (WRA) to recognise the record.

WRA is the leading international organisation which certifies world records.

The authority did not apply for Guinness World Records because they have not listed such a record.

Dr Ali Al Khoury, director general of Emirates ID, received the certificate from a representative of WRA at a ceremony at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Al Khoury submitted the accomplishment achieved by the UAE to the leadership of the country under President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

He also highlighted the support of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Deputy Chairman of the Emirates ID and Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Chairman of the Emirates ID.

Al Khoury said: “The advanced population register system has strengthened national and individual security and supported the developmental projects in the UAE.

“It helps in developing and facilitating government services, providing the required information on the demographic structure that supports decision-making and strategic planning in the areas of allocation of resources in all vital sectors.”

The ID card and population register system also supports the e-government projects through authenticating personal identity in online transactions, by preventing identity theft that is increasing worldwide and causing huge losses estimated at hundreds of billions of dirhams, the official explained.

The authority had earlier said, by implementing a new strategic plan by the end of 2009, it doubled the enrolment in the population register and hence the number of fingerprint records of individuals was increased by several times during the past three years.

About 14 million digital fingerprints were recorded as of September 2009. But it was increased to 102 million by the end of September 2012.