The deadline for Emirates ID Card is becoming a matter of joke now. The EIDA has came a long way from its initial stance of issuing threats to expats and locals unable to registerd of the card by December 31, 2008. However, the deadline kept changing and extensions were provided due to number of reasons including issues with EIDA registration systems, incompetency of EIDA staff to handle load and inability of EIDA to motivate locals and expats both to get registered on time.
Now, as Khaleej Times quotes Darwish Ahmed Al Zarouni, director-general of the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA), , Expatriates residing in the UAE can obtain their national ID cards until the end of 2010. While the nationals can apply for the ID cards until the end of March 2009, failing which a fine of Dh1,000 will be imposed on each individual.
Previously EIDA blamed expats of being complacent and not taking the deadlines seriously. Now, media is also included in the blame game as Al Zarouni accuses media of misreporting the deadline.
“Deadlines have been wrongly reported by a cross-section of the English and Arabic media in the country. But, once and for all, let me put the record straight, that all non-nationals residing in the UAE have until the end of 2010 to apply for their ID cards”.
Al Zarouni recommended that non-national professional residents working in the private sector, and their family members, register before the February 28 deadline. He, however, added that if they fail to register, they could do it at their convenience by the end of 2010.
Issuing a warning to the companies, he said:
“If the companies fail to cooperate, there is a possibility that they would be denied access to various important services in the country. It’s a bit too early to comment on the consequences faced by the establishments, if they failed to comply with the rules”.