A typing centre in Abu Dhabi. A meeting of Higher Management Committee Emirates ID lauded the positive response of the citizens to the registration process. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Dubai: National identity cards are not being delivered to residents' homes or offices despite payment of the courier charges.

The Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) said lack of courier services has forced it to distribute the cards through post offices in various emirates.

In focus: ID card

However, Empost on Wednesday announced that it has stopped accepting new cards from Eida since January 27 to clear the backlog of cards.

Officials said they were processing an average of 10,000 cards daily. "The two courier companies engaged by us have certain limitations in handling that many cards a day, Dr Ali Mohammad Al Khoury, Director-General of Eida, told Gulf News on Wednesday.

The lack of courier service companies which can deliver huge volumes of National ID cards in the country had forced Eida to distribute the cards through post offices, Al Khoury said.

"We are printing more than 10,000 cards a day and the two courier service companies engaged by us have certain limitation to handle that many cards a day," he said.

"That prompted us to engage Emirates Post to distribute cards through its post offices across the country," he said. Empost has been delivering the cards since 2007 and Aramex courier company started delivering them recently.

The official was responding to complaints raised by Gulf News readers who said that they were asked to collect their cards from the post offices despite paying courier charges when they applied for the card. They said they were surprised to receive a message from Emirates Post, saying, "Please pick up your National ID card from [a particular post office]."

Large volumes

Despite communication with the several other courier companies in the country, Emirates ID could not find one which could deliver huge volumes of ID cards, Al Khoury said. Two other companies which came forward had limited capacity, he said. Al Khoury explained that Emirates ID does not save money by distributing the cards through post offices.

The official said out of Dh70 extra charges paid by the applicant, Emirates ID receives about Dh10 towards courier charges which is paid to the Emirates Post.

He said the rest of the Dh60 goes into typing, envelopes and packaging. Courier companies charge more than Dh10 which is paid by Emirates ID, not by the applicant, the official said.

Asked about the request from the applicants to get the cards distributed through the nearest post offices, he said all such requests would be taken up with Emirates Post. Meanwhile, a meeting of Higher Management Committee of Emirates ID lauded the positive response of the citizens to the registration process.

Dr Al Khoury who chaired the meeting, called on Emiratis to register before the final grace period expires by June 30.

Temporary stop to clear backlog

Empost, the express courier company delivering the ID cards since 2007, has stopped accepting the new ID cards from the Emirates ID since January 27 to clear the backlog of cards, Sultan Al Medfa, CEO of Empost told Gulf News.

Due to huge volumes of cards printed by the Emirates ID, Empost had a large number of cards, awaiting delivery, he said. Al Medfa said Empost will take new cards from Emirates ID after clearing the backlog.

He said many people are not aware that Empost and Emirates Post are two different organisations.