Everything You Need To Know About The Emirates ID In Dubai

Everything You Need To Know About The Emirates ID In Dubai


Ambia Hoque


The UAE visa Emirates ID is essential for anyone living or planning to reside in the United Arab Emirates. Serving as a legal identity card for UAE citizens and residents, the Emirates ID is a gateway to a plethora of services and a testament to one’s official status in the country. Not only does it facilitate everyday transactions, but it also streamlines travel within the GCC and ensures the security of personal information. This guide provides:

  • An in-depth look at the Emirates ID.
  • Outlining its importance.
  • The application process.
  • Its interconnection with UAE visas.

Whether you’re a first-time applicant or looking to renew your card, understanding the functionalities and requirements of the Emirates ID is crucial for navigating life in Dubai seamlessly.

What is Emirates ID?

An Emirates ID is a government-issued identity card that’s mandatory for all citizens and residents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It’s not just a form of identification but also a key that unlocks access to a variety of services and facilities within the country. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICP) is in charge of issuing and managing these identity cards, ensuring you have a unique identity number and a secure means of verification.

Carrying an Emirates ID is a legal requirement for every UAE citizen and resident, including newborn babies. It’s a critical piece of identification that you must always have on you. It’s also a multifunctional tool used for a range of purposes, from accessing government services to voting in Federal National Council elections.

The card also serves as a travel document for UAE citizens within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. It enables swift passage through eGates and smart gates at several airports across the UAE. The Emirates ID is a smart card that incorporates advanced technology to ensure the security and privacy of your personal data.

It includes a 15-digit identification number, which is unique to each individual and stays with them for life—the card’s electronic chip stores personal data, some of which are encrypted. Only authorised entities can access or modify this information, keeping your privacy safe.

In terms of design, the Emirates ID is at the cutting edge of smart card technology. It features high-precision lettering, ultraviolet ink, and intricate line drawings. These elements and nine other security features make the card extremely difficult to forge.

This high level of security protects you against identity theft and fraud. The ICP has also made it clear that it’s illegal for any person or company to confiscate an Emirates ID card. For example, employers need help holding onto their employees’ Emirates IDs.

The same rule applies to port security of the cards of customers and visitors. This regulation ensures that your right to your personal identification is respected. It also guarantees that the card remains in your possession at all times.

The Emirates ID is a cornerstone of identity verification in the UAE. It meets international standards and provides a secure, reliable way to establish and protect your identity within the country.

Screenshot Of The UAE ICP Website For Emirates ID

Step-by-Step Emirates ID Application Process

Submit an Application for a New Emirates ID

To initiate the process, you can either navigate to the ICP’s website or visit an authorised typing centre. You will be required to complete the necessary paperwork and submit your details there. The card’s sophisticated features, such as the smart chip and fingerprint biometrics, are designed to store your information securely and safeguard against unauthorised duplication.

Pay Relevant Fees

Following the submission of your application, the next step involves the payment of the prescribed fees. The amount will vary based on the method of submission. The ‘Fawri’ service is available for expedited processing, which incurs additional charges. It’s important to renew your card within the stipulated 30-day period post-expiration to avoid penalties.

Visit an ICP Centre For Your Biometric Scan

The subsequent phase requires you to visit an ICP Customer Happiness Centre to record your biometric information. This step is indispensable for the completion of your application.

Collect Your Emirates ID Card

Upon processing your application and biometric information, your card will be issued. Typically, the card is available within 48 hours of application submission. For expedited service, the wait time may be reduced to 24 hours. In the event of loss or damage, a replacement can be requested, subject to a fee and the standard application process. It is imperative to inform the ICP of any changes to your personal information within one month. When your UAE residence visa is cancelled, you are required to surrender your Emirates ID to the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs. The ICP can be contacted through their ‘Ask Hamad’ service or by telephone for further assistance.

Screenshot Of ICP Website For Happiness Centers

UAE Visa and Emirates ID Linkage

Why Link Your Visa and Emirates ID?

Linking your Emirates ID cards with your visa simplifies many administrative tasks and enhances the security of personal data. Since April 2022, the Emirates ID has been updated to display your visa status, eliminating the need for residency stickers on your passport. This modification has positioned the Emirates ID as the primary evidence of lawful residency in the UAE, facilitating travel as airlines can verify residency with just the card and passport number.

The Linking Process Explained

To ensure your Emirates ID reflects your visa status accurately, updating any personal information on the card to match your visa details is essential. UAE nationals must provide a personal photo, a valid passport, and a GCC ID card for those over 21 or parents of minors. Expatriates and residents are required to submit a personal photo, a valid passport, and an original birth certificate or Emirates ID card replacement for individuals under 15.

Applicants for an Emirates ID who are not residents must possess a valid residence permit. The cost for issuance of expired cards varies based on the application type and the card’s validity period. Expatriates in the UAE can renew their Emirates ID concurrently with their residency visa.

In cases where the Emirates ID is lost, damaged, or stolen, a replacement must be requested from the ICP, incurring a fee of AED 300, with potential additional charges for expedited service or processing through typing centres or the ICP’s eForm. It’s mandatory to report any changes to your personal details to the ICP within one month.

Benefits of Linkage for Residents

The integration of your Emirates ID with your visa offers numerous advantages. The card’s robust polycarbonate construction ensures durability for up to a decade. It serves as a versatile tool for accessing government services, participating in elections, and facilitating travel within the GCC. The card’s integration into the banking and healthcare systems is pivotal for credit checks and medical insurance.

The ICP’s smart app provides an electronic version of your ID card, enhancing its utility for online identity verification, which is increasingly crucial in the digital age.

How To Check Your Emirates ID Status

Monitoring the status of your Emirates ID is crucial in Dubai, as it is indispensable for various daily transactions. Ensuring the validity and accuracy of your personal details is paramount.

If you’re awaiting a new card, a renewal, or a replacement, you can track the progress online through the ICP’s portal. This service provides up-to-date information on your application’s status.

To perform a status check, you will require either your Emirates ID number or the PRAN from your application form. Navigate to the ICP’s portal, accessible only within the UAE, and locate the “Check ID status” section. Input your application number or Emirates ID number, omitting any hyphens, to view the latest update on your application.

The indicators on the portal are straightforward. If your application is still under review, it will show as “Pending.” Once approved, the status will change to “Approved,” and your card will be in the printing stage. “Issued” signifies that your card is ready for collection. If you see “Rejected,” you will need to contact the ICP for further clarification.

While awaiting your card, which typically takes about 7 to 14 working days, you may receive SMS notifications regarding its status. When it’s ready, you will be directed to a designated Emirates post office for collection. If your card is misplaced or damaged, report the incident to the nearest police station and notify the ICP within seven days. You can request a replacement at any ICP office, with fees applicable and additional charges based on the service method chosen. An express service is available for those needing expedited processing.

For expiring cards, a 30-day window is provided for renewal applications. Failure to renew within this period results in daily fines, capped at a certain amount. Renewal of banking credit cards is also necessary for any updates to your personal information.

The Emirates ID number consists of 15 digits, divided into sections including the UAE’s international code and a segment typically reflecting your birth year, followed by a sequence of random numbers and a check digit.

For assistance or inquiries regarding your Emirates ID status, the ICP’s customer support can be reached by phone. The ICP’s website also features an ‘Application History Log’ that provides a comprehensive view of your application’s progress.

Screenshot Of The UAE ICP Website For Emirates ID


Is Emirates ID the same as a visa?

While the Emirates ID is a mandatory identification card for all UAE nationals and residents, the UAE visa is a separate document that authorises entry and residence in the country for a specific duration. The Emirates ID is a broader identification tool, whereas the visa is specifically for immigration visit visa purposes.

How can I download my Emirates ID?

Download the UAE Pass app or the ICP mobile app on your smartphone for a digital copy of your Emirates ID. These applications allow you to generate a QR code that represents your Emirates ID information, which is recognised for various services until you receive your physical card.

How many days will it take to get an Emirates ID?

The issuance time for an Emirates ID can range from 48 hours to approximately two weeks. After your residency visa is processed, production of your Emirates ID commences. You will be provided with a registration form containing a QR code to monitor the progress of your application. Email and SMS notifications will inform you of the delivery schedule, along with a tracking number from Emirates Post.

How much is an Emirates ID per year?

The fee for an Emirates ID varies depending on the chosen validity period and the applicant’s category. For UAE nationals, a 5-year card costs AED 100, while a 10-year card is AED 200, with an additional AED 70 for service and printing. GCC nationals pay AED 100 for a 5-year card plus the service and printing fees. Expatriates are charged AED 100 for a validity period that aligns with their residence visa and the service and printing fees.

An urgent service is available for an additional AED 150 at the Customer Happiness Centre. Notifications about the renewal process are sent via SMS, and biometric updates may be required. Renewed cards can be collected from the Customer Happiness Centre or delivered by courier. Emiratis residing overseas have the option to renew their cards online through the ICP.

Your Gateway to Convenience

Navigating the administrative aspects of life in Dubai is made seamless with the Emirates ID – a testament to the UAE’s commitment to integrating advanced technology with citizen services. As the backbone of your official presence in the country, it stands as an authority for identity citizenship and a hallmark of identity, security, and accessibility.

Whether you’re opening a bank account, passing through airport security, or accessing government services, your Emirates ID acts as your trusty companion, simplifying processes and safeguarding your identity. Keeping up with application processes and renewals and staying informed on their linkage with your visa status will ensure that your life in the UAE runs as smoothly as the sophisticated chip embedded within your card.

Embrace the efficiency and security of your Emirates ID, and let it pave the way for a hassle-free experience in this vibrant country.

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