Nearly six million people have registered for the Emirates ID, at a rate of about 30,000 a day. Last month alone, the Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) is said to have processed a million
applications for new and renewed cards. Dubai, the last emirate to require registration, gave residents until the end of the month to enroll or face fines.
However, many residents still do not know where they can use their ID cards, which store personal information including date of birth, nationality and marital status. And in some cases, the ID Card alone is not proof of identification.
More than 150 government entities recognise the card as proof of identity. They include all ministries, Emirates Post and the UAE Red Crescent. Agencies in each emirate have also signed on to accept the card for services. All seven emirates’ municipalities accept the card for most services, and four, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah, accept it for court purposes.
However, although Eida has asked banks to accept the Emirates ID, certain banks still require the passport and visa copies, and a letter or salary certificate from employers.”I have tried to open a bank account using the Emirates ID but none of them accepted it,” said one resident. “They said they need the passport as proof of identity.”
Car-hire companies also still need Emiratis and expatriates to produce passports and driving licences.