Abu Dhabi: The UAE holds the largest biometric database in the world, the Emirates Identity Authority has announced.

The population register of Emirates ID has over 103 million digital fingerprints and over 15 million digital facial recognition records, which includes multiple records of each UAE resident, and digital signatures as of October 11, senior officials said.

This biometric database is considered to be the largest in the world, according to a statement issued by the authority.

Dr. Ali Al Khoury, Director General of Emirates ID, said the authority has submitted an official application to the World Record Academy to recognise this record.

Asked about the confirmation of the authority’s claims about the world record, an official spokesman of the authority told Gulf News on Sunday: “We have made worldwide surveys and enquiries with the similar official authorities and agencies of the world governments holding such databases and confirmed that our database is the largest.

“The World Record Academy also confirmed to us that no other government or authority has made a similar claim for such a record,” he said.

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

World Record Academy is the leading international organisation which certifies world records.

Its website says 90 per cent of the new world records applications are verified within three days.

Emirates ID 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 last month (September 2012).

Dr. Al Khouri said the comprehensive database of residents’ biometrics will contribute and support projects related to the UAE’s national vision 2021, aimed at enhancing the security and advancement of society, as well as supporting e-government projects through authenticating personal identity in e-transactions carried out on the internet.

This will help hinder the risk of identity theft that increases day by day worldwide, he said.