Emirates ID is an identity card issued by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security-ICP. UAE citizens and residents are legally required to apply for one and carry it with them at all times.
Emirates ID is mandatory for all UAE citizens and residents (even newborn children). The ID confirms your identity and your personal data across all 7 Emirates in the country.
Identity cards in the Emirates are not divided by age, but rather by the type of residence:
All three types of cards are essentially the same. However, the validity of the Citizen Card depends on the citizen’s choice of 5 or 10 years. Whereas a GCC ID is issued only for 5 years and Expat ID’s can be issued for a period of 1, 2 or 3 years.
As previously stated, the Emirates ID plays a very important role in the lives of citizens and residents. It is used everywhere, from day-to-day affairs to government services. Here are a few examples of its use:
It is important for you to understand that your Emirates ID belongs to you and you alone; seizing another person’s ID card is against the law. Moreover, Emirates IDs cannot be withheld from customers, visitors, or employees by companies or other authorities.
While availing of the government services, the Emirates ID can be used as identity proof. The card also prevents identity theft and fraud and protects your identity. Also, official entities such as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Municipality and Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) require you to present the Emirates ID for most of their services and processes.
According to the new rules and regulations, from April 2022, the ID will carry a resident’s visa status as well. Travelling has been made convenient by replacing the residency visa stamp which has been long-held in the residents’ passports. This has now been replaced by new generation Emirates IDs. Another advantage of this ID is that you can utilise it in place of a passport during transit to other GCC countries.
Your new Emirates ID card can be used to get a swift credit report in Dubai at the Al Etihad Credit Bureau customer service centres. The banks can also access the credit history of a customer using an ID card.
A provision has been made that after 2016, the Emirates ID can be used in place of health insurance cards. The ID can be used to process medical insurance. So, instead of you carrying a medical card, your Emirates Identity card can be integrated into the medical insurance system.
The insurance companies have integrated their customer details into the databases of clinics and hospitals, making it easier for them to process through this ID. Earlier, the hospitals did not have this provision to link the patients’ ID cards with their medical reports. The Emirates Identity Card has made it easier for the hospitals, patients, and insurance companies saving them time for this procedure.
Finally, the oil company ADNOC has expanded ways in which customers can pay for the fuel at their smart service stations. You can now refuel with cash, credit cards, ADNOC Plus Cards and your Emirates ID linked to an activated ADNOC Wallet in Abu Dhabi.
There are 2 ways to apply for an ID card; the first way is online using the ICA website or through the ICA Smart App. To do this, you need to register or log into your account on the ICA website. Then choose the service you need and fill in your personal information. The second way to apply is through the Customer Happiness Centers or printing offices where applicants also need to fill in their personal information and provide the required documents. Note that the process and type of documents may differ from the type of Emirates ID you are applying for.
You need to first complete an application form. This can be done online here or at an approved typing office. Tas’heel services are the preferred locations, although many typing offices are also eligible. This step is completed simultaneously with applying for a residence visa. If you are at a typing centre or an Amer centre (if you are in Dubai), you will be required to provide your passport and entry permit information. Your application will ask for this information.
After your form has been submitted, you will receive an SMS directly to your phone. This will state a date and time, as well as the location of the EIDA branch you must visit. At the EIDA office, you will have your photo taken as well as be asked for your fingerprints. You will be given a receipt that you must retain in order to collect your card when it is ready.
Next, you’ll need to pay the service and card fee, which varies depending on the visa you’re applying for. If you have a one-year visa, the cost for the Emirates ID is approximately Dh170. For a two-year visa, the cost is approximately Dh270. If you apply for a 10-year Golden Visa, the cost would be approximately Dh 1,070.
After your register, you can track your application by typing the account number in EIDA’s website – select ID Card Status.
After processing your work visa, the ID card will be sent to a local post office. You will be notified by SMS directly to your phone, although you can still check the status online. Note that you need to collect your Emirates ID in 90 days or it will be returned to EIDA and discarded.