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UAE ID Card rant (Dubai)

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Just came back from one of the Emirates ID Authority centres in Dubai having spend the last 7 hours queuing to apply for the UAE ID card, which is supposedly compulsory from 1st January next year for all UAE nationals and expatriates holding university degrees.

Prior to my visit today, I wasted several hours trying to complete the application form online only to find that the website is essentially impossible to use.

Is it only me or is anybody else of the opinion that the whole scheme has just been put together by 5-year old (actually, a five year old could have probably put together a better system). I mean, 7 hours queuing and you even have to pay for the privilege of having your application typed even though the website doesn't work properly.

Says the woman at the ID centre, "You should have tried filling the online form at 4 a.m. in the morning, because the website is far less busy then". Says I, "yeah, and you could have tried putting together a site that can actually cope with the number of applications it receives."

Of course, you could try and apply for the card at a post office, but, oops, all of them seem to have run out of application forms.

Want to book an online appointment using the website? Forget it.

Some useful advice for all of you who haven't applied for the card yet:
- Do try and fill the stupid form at 4 a.m. in the morning if you're awake. Don't worry if it doesn't fill properly (when I tried it kept telling me I work in DIFC even though I selected something totally different) - you'll have a chance to change it once you're at the application centre.
- if you don't manage to fill the form online, split the application process in two. Go to one of the application centres in the afternoon to get the form typed (the queues will be much shorter then and you'll only wait a few minutes) and then go really early next day to get a number for the actual registration. And I mean "really" early. When I arrived at the centre this morning at 7.30 a.m. there were already about Protected content queuing. You want to get one of the first numbers.
- Once you're actually in the office to complete the finger-printing etc. formalities, it will only take about 30 minutes altogether.

Good luck :-)

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