National ID exhausts scare tactics
Postponed deadlines, threats of fines and inability to renew or create residency visas are just some of the scare tactics used to push us towards the Emirates ID
August 6, 2012 12:00 by Muhammad Aldalou
As several more tactics are thrown onto the nightmarish rollercoaster that is the Emirates ID ‘journey’, Kipp cannot help but wonder; is the scare tactic being exhausted from overuse?
It is rare that one would see the name of a country’s identification card appear in the mainstream media almost as often as your average celebrity and the frightening thing is that it continues to make the headlines because it is scary to some and to others; it is an inconvenience that they want to ignore, much like cleaning out the back of the cupboard.
So far, this National ID, which to my love of irony translates an image of unity, has been linked to more scare campaigns than Uncle Sam’s famous poster. Deadlines, fines, visa links, visa rejections, age limits, waiting list, appointments and some more visa links. It seems to translate into; get your ID to stay in the country because you won’t be eligible otherwise.
The most recent of the link-tactic, is the inability for one to purchase a Sim Card or re-register theirs with Etisalat or du (which is also a recent campaign of the ‘Big Brother’ nature) unless they produce an Emirates ID card as proof of Identification. Your passport would work as well but labour cards and driving licenses will no longer be accepted. Funnily enough, both the aforementioned identification cards have been and continue to be issued by governmental departments so why has the confidence in them been lost? The rule was slapped into effect almost immediately after the announcement from the TRA, which again plays to Kipp’s love for irony.
The other recently revealed hindrance in our daily lives is that more and more clinics are beginning to reject patients’ requests for sick leave certificates without an Emirates ID and sure enough, it will spread to all private clinics in a matter of time; just an additional burden on the shoulders of the weak and sickly.
Despite the strong and pushy efforts to pressurize the population into quickly signing up for this ID, the wait is in itself, a secondary conversation of frustration. One would assume that a procedure that appears to be talked about in the papers and discussed daily might run a bit smoother once you surrender yourself to it, and it would, if not for poor communication.
And despite all the scare tactics and ongoing links, threats of deadlines (that have been changed several times), the accumulation of faced fines and penalties, inability to renew your work permit and the inability to create a new one; there are still many people that continue their lives without it. It could be attributed to the fact that there has been an absence of a strong motive (not a tactic but a genuine motive) to carry this form of identification. The question of what makes this card different, has not yet been answered. I do not speak about its security and physical features but rather on its validity and why its growing hype is being afforded a standard as high as a passport.