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Barcode blues and long queues hit ID applicants.

Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Fujairah: Residents say they are facing major problems in their attempt to get the ID card while the December 31 deadline is fast approaching.

The Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) recently announced that fines will not be imposed on expatriate professionals who fail to get the ID card by the deadline.

In a recent Gulf News poll, 27 per cent of the respondents said website issues were the biggest problems they faced in applying for the ID card, 25 per cent said they were unable to get an appointment, and 16 per cent said they faced long queues at the centres.

The slow processing of ID cards was a problem for 12 per cent, 10 per cent said complex transactions worried them and 10 per cent resented the difficulty in getting the application forms.

City Talk asked residents if they have received their ID card yet, what the whole experience was like, and if the clarification on fines would make a difference for them.

Sohail Ebrahim, 29, Lebanon, area sales manager: Not yet, but I am going to get it done soon. The PRO [public relations officer] at the company is applying for the forms now, but my main concern is the time I will waste when handing the forms in. I have heard that people have stood in queues for up to four hours.

Priya Sajeesh, 28, India, administrator: I have already got the application form but still have to hand it in. It took me a very long time to download the form by the internet, and the post offices in Jumeirah and Karama ran out of the forms. The fact that no penalties will be imposed after the deadline does not affect me, because I plan to hand in the form before that time.

Jose Siapno, 32, The Philippines, mechanical engineer: I purchased the application form from the post office four weeks ago and still did not get a reply about when I will get an appointment, or the barcodes. The people working at Empost told me to wait. I don't have any proof that I have handed in the application form.

Anwar Kabbani, 30, Lebanon, business development manager: Here in Fujairah, I found the process to be very easy. First, I made an appointment on the website and then after an hour at the registration centre my family and I walked out having completed the whole process.

Merlin Dinglas Pareja, 48, The Philippines, marine service crewing manager: We are in the middle of the application process which was organised by our company, making our lives very easy. Our manager is updated on these matters and instructed the PRO to handle the matter early on; so really we had very little to worry about. I think the process is very easy and clear for us to follow.

Emma Waters, 39, Britain, sales manager: I heard about it several months ago through the news, but never really found the time to go and complete the procedure. It's just procrastination, I guess. Now that there are reports of long queues and hours of waiting, it is becoming even more difficult for me to convince myself to go and register.

Sasidharan G, 58, India, driver: Our company will be processing the ID card for us so we don't have to worry about it. This is not my concern because the December 31 deadline is only for professionals.

Thelma Hesita, 36, The Philippines, house maid: I have never heard about this ID card, so there is no question of registering. Now that I know, I will enquire about this and do what is necessary.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Nov 23, 2008
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