Sunday, November 02, 2008

ID Card update

An update on the ID Card story I've posted about a couple of times.

I went to the Al Barsha EIDA office this morning and it was far from being the unpleasant drama that I've been reading and hearing about. And a far easier experience than dealing with the website!

All I took, as instructed, was my passport and the registration form/bar codes I'd printed out from their website. And cash for the Dh100 per year fee plus Dh20 delivery charge.

I went at 9.30am and found a parking space right outside. Only two people in the queue at Reception, so I was dealt with within a minute or two.

The Emirati lady looked at my registration form printout and passport and asked if I had an appointment. I didn't because all the stories have been that it's a waste of time, you still wait for hours. She asked if I had time to wait, which could be two hours. I said I would, she gave me a numbered ticket and directed me to the waiting area.

What a difference it is these days from the old government offices - Immigration and the like. Actually not so old, it's only two or three years ago that it was a free-for-all in run down buildings that had long ago seen their best years.

This is a new building, clean, smart, comfortable seats, good signage and the number system rather than the rugby scrum system.

My ticket was timed at 9.32 and at 10.04 my number was called.

A pleasant, friendly Emirati lady entered my details into her computer, translating my English form into Arabic and correcting the mistakes the website had insisted on including. Two of her colleagues came through, she showed them my Australian passport and we had a chat about Australia, laughed and joked about them wanting to visit and staying with me there.

Then into the next room to have my photograph taken and on into a third office for fingerprinting. Emirati men this time and as they were as pleasant and friendly as the ladies. And they were using what to my non-tech mind seemed to be very modern equipment - the digital camera set up and linked direct to the computer, the fingerprint machine also linked direct to the computer. None of the old black ink pads to be seen.

One hour after arriving I was told it was all finished and the card would be delivered to me.

And I must add a point about interaction with the staff. There's always a lot of negative comment about Emiratis, particularly those working in government offices, and the way they deal with expats, but I must say that I've very rarely had a problem. My experience has been that the majority are pleasant and friendly, as they were here.

One final observation - the queue at the typing office was fairly long and growing all the time. So although using the website to pre-register is frustrating I suggest it's better than the typing office option.

14 comments:

jadaoun said...

That's a relief. I've been delaying the inevitable but I guess I'll now take the plunge. Thanks for all the updates!

Jitheshar said...

I tried their website but the problem is the barcode never comes. Any one have this problem?

The Wizard of D said...

yes.... having the same problem with printing the bar codes.

And guess what... you HAVE to enter an occupation. So now my 3 year old son is classified as a sales and marketing professional. :-)

CG said...

lol@the wizard

Nice going Seabee, trust me, yours was a rare occurence.

Seabee said...

Jitheshar, I had no problem with the bar code. I had problems with it changing answers I'd keyed in.

Wiz, under 'Occupation' there's 'Retired' - maybe you could use that for your son :-)

Zafar said...

I just managed to complete the application and print it with the bar codes, I specify the print with bar codes as I did completed it twice before but could not print it with bar codes.

Successfully being able to complete and print I headed to only location in Sharjah i.e., Al Taawen Mall only to be told by the staff there that they do not and will not accept any one without appointment.

I tried booking myself on the website but no use as it breaks down every now and then hence decided to call their number and book myself on net and by phone side by side. After almost an hour I got through on the telephone and then had to spend another half an hour listening to the music I got through to a person who helped me generate my appointment time.

The best thing is I could not get any appointment in Shrjah, Dubai or Ajman my appointment is in Al-Dhaid area on 23rd November in the morning.

I have also been told by the telephone attendent that I must appear with passport, printed form and a letter issued by employer that I am their employee and working with them. This is something new neither advertised on the website nor written in the newspapers.

I wonder how many of you faced this problem it at all anyone of you did face it.

i*maginate said...

Last minute always heeds better results.

Seabee said...

Zafar it has nothing to do with the labour card, it's connected to the Residence Visa only. And your sponsor for the Res. Visa is your employer.

alexander... said...

Nice to get the positives!!!

Anonymous said...

I have an appointment for next week at the Rashidiya office, which I wrongly assumed was located in the post office. The man at the PO said that the office was near KFC. I've driven up and down the KFC road but can't see anything official looking. Has anyone found the registration office in Rashidiya?

Seabee said...

Anon the website has google maps for the offices. The phone number of Rashidiya office is 04 3845252

The map shows it looking as though it's in the desert (!!) but I guess it's meant to show it on Umm Ramool Road (D83 Road) just past the Coca Cola Sales Office and a petrol station.

The web page you need is here.

mfg said...

Info on the location of the EIDA Rashidiya Office:
go to www.wikimapia.com ; search for 'emirates identity' and it will give you the location.
It's inside Rashidiya, close to the Metro depot & KFC, behind 'Halawa supermarket' and in sight of Emirates Rd. It's not signposted at all & tricky to find.

Good Luck!
To apply for the Identity Card you need to bring your passport and preferably fill out your pre-registration form which you can obtain from www.emiratesid.ae
The actual processing time takes about 30 minutes (+waiting time). At first the personal data from the pre-registration form is verified. As a second step a biometric picture as well as a complete fingerprint scan is taken. No preparation other than the filling of the pre-registration form is required for the appointment.

!!! Note that the google-map link for this EIDA Rashidiya office displayed at the above mentioned website is incorrect (as of APR2009) and will misguide you to the Festival City. !!!

Prashanth said...

There are no sign boards and this makes matters very difficult. Anyhow below are the directions for someone trying to locate the EIDA in Rashidiya.

(1) Take the Rashidia exit from Emirates Road
(2) At the First Signal, take a left.
(3) Go down the road, take a U-Turn on the round about and come back towards the Metro
(4) Take a right near the Metro
With Metro on the left and KFC on the right, go straight
2nd Round About, take right. Dont expect a big round about. The round abouts are very small.
(5) Go further and take the first left (You will see Halawa Super market on the left (green board)
(6) Take left again
(7) Then immediate right
(8) Go a little further and you will then see Mirdiff City Center on the far end
(9) The road will curve to the right and there you will find the EIDA building.

It is a little bit of a treasure hunt no doubt. Wonder why the authorities dont do anything about putting up signboards leading to the EIDA center..!!!

Hank Hendricks said...

Now it is so easy to update or renew your ID card due to the bundle of new features of new introduced id card printing machines n the market.