SOURCE : THE NATIONAL
ID registration to go on after Dec. deadline
UAE - OCT 25: FOLLOWING heavy traffic on the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) website that has made it almost inactive, the head of registration programme has said that "there will be no problem with registering people after Dec.31, 2008."
When The Gulf Today asked him of what can people do to beat the deadlines since the website, www.emiratesid.ae is malfunctional, the Director General of EIDA, Darwish Ahmed Al Zarouni conceded to the issue.
"We're witnessing heavy traffic beyond what our megabyte 4 can bear. The traffic is at 6MB, but we shall enhance it on Sunday to 10 megabytes," he said.
Asked whether this problem portends extension of the programme beyond Dec.31,2008 deadline, he said yes.
"Actually we're so much concerned with the locals; and we shall open doors for them beyond the deadline; but even expatriates shall come and register after Dec.31, 2008."
When this reporter again visited the EIDA website yesterday, an Arabic message was flashing on: "Appointment System", reading, "We're sorry for any difficulty you encounter in opening this page." The English menu was not opening at all. The customer service Toll Free (600 523 432) was constantly engaged.
Yet, Al Zarouni as an authority and the applicants rely heavily on the website.
Recently, Al Zarouni noted; "The importance of the authority's website lies in that it is the first station in the registration process to obtain the ID card, whereas customers shall fill the registration form on the internet and print it out before they head to the registration centre along with their necessary evidentiary documents (passports and family book for UAE nationals, passport and residence visa for expatriates) to further complete the remaining procedures such as signing, taking finger prints and photos."
Currently, EIDA is registering all the locals up to Dec.31, 2008. Where as from July 2008 to October 2008, the registration is for local and federal government employees. From August to Dec.31, 2008 the registration is for the professionals such as lawyers, bankers, journalists, engineers - in this category (white collars).
According to Al Zarouni, "From then we shall go to the drivers, housemaids, artisans, I do not know how we shall categorise them but that will be from January 2009 to mid 2009. From then we shall handle blue collars that is, construction workers/labourers."
Circumstances such as information flow are baffling all including Al Zarouni himself and they're set to alter the programme as it was set.
"We placed massive media adverts but many people were kaslaan (lazy)," Al Zarouni told The Gulf Today on Thursday.
As the registration issue threatened the very stay of people in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the message about the programme is fast spreading among friends and colleagues through the word of mouth, by telephone calls.
"I have just been told by friend who lives in Dubai and then I read the newspapers and saw many of them awash with the story [about registration]," said Muhsin Jamal a resident of Nahda in Sharjah but working for an electronic company in Dubai Airport Free Zone.