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Good news as ID card saga continues
According to reports, all expatriates in the UAE have until the end of 2010 to get their ID cards.
February 16, 2009 1:54 by Aarti Nagraj
In November 2008, the Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) said that the Emirates ID card deadline of December 31, 2008 for expatriates in the country will not be extended. Thamer Rashid Al Qasimi, the planning director of the body told Gulf News at that time that although Eida does not have the authority to take measures like freezing bank accounts of non-registered residents, government or central bank could take any such measures. The authority also warned that expatriates could face problems with government services such as obtaining a driver’s license if they did not apply for the cards before the deadline.
A month later, they extended the deadline till the end of 2010, but made the registration batch-wise, with the first deadline for UAE expatriate professionals ending on February 28 2009.
Now, The National reports that all expatriates, including professionals, have until the end of 2010 to get hold of their national ID card.
“Calm down, don’t panic. Your deadline isn’t until the end of 2010,” the paper quoted Darwish al Zarouni, the director general of the Eida as saying. He said that the decision had been taken to “make life easier” for those who had not registered, and that it was up to the individual when they applied, as long as they had obtained a card by the end of 2010.
While we are not sure how many people were panicking (According to Gulf News, about 430,000 expatriate professionals have yet to register for ID cards), the news comes as a relief to many.
But constant changes to the process will undoubtedly confuse and annoy people. Even if the changes are for the better.
Shouldn’t Eida have structured the whole process more clearly and practically before bringing it to the public domain?
Ed’s note: It’s February 2009, and not February 2008, as mentioned earlier in the story.