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ID cards for locals, expats by year-end

By Muawia E. Ibrahim / 14 June 2005

ABU DHABI — The federal cabinet has approved fees for the national identity card which will be issued to all nationals and expatriates by the end of this year. According to Dr Saeed Khalfan bin Rakan Al Dhahiri, Director-General, Emirates Identity Authority, the cost will be Dh500 for expatriates, Dh100 for UAE nationals and Dh50 for children up to the age of five.

The cards will be issued under a three-year comprehensive project that would facilitate the use of a unified ID number for every single transaction with the government and private bodies. Designed in compliance with international standards, the card can be used internationally and in the Gulf States, which had agreed to have machine-readable ID cards.

Each card, bearing a special number, will include the individual's photograph, name, date of birth, sex, nationality, signature, blood group, fingerprints and other biological characteristics.

A pilot project to issue national ID cards to nationals and expatriates will commence by end of this month, said Dr Dhahiri.

It will start with employees of the ministries of interior and defence. A centre has been set up at the General Directorate of Naturalisation and Residence to act as a conduit to coordinate the operations of the registration and service centres to be set up nationwide. The first registration and service centre for ID cards will be set up near the General Exhibitions Centre in Mushrif. A total of 14 registration centres will be set up across the country in the initial phase.

The Emirates Identity Authority is responsible for producing and issuing the National Identity Card (NIC) to all residents. The authority is also responsible for registering national and expatriate residents before they are issued the card. In May last year, the Ministry of Interior, responsible for planning the project, approved the design of the NIC. The ministry has signed a Dh194 million contract with a French IT company, Sagem SA of France to provide the technology to implement the project. The company has provided the technology to design and produce smart cards, which will be the single most important identification document for every UAE resident.
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