As of April 2012 expats in Dubai must apply for an ID card before they are able to renew residency visas.
Dubai is the final area within the United Arab Emirates to introduce the cards. From 01 April all UAE areas will require expats to have a valid ID card before applying for visas, and the ID cards must also be acquired prior to taking medical tests necessary for visa applications.
These rules were actually scheduled to start in January 2012, but they have been delayed to April as registration centres have not been completed.
A spokesman for the Emirates Identity Authority said: “This condition will be applicable to Dubai in co-ordination with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs by early next April. We needed more time. The centres at Al Muhaisna and Al Baraha will be the biggest in Dubai and in the country. Al Muhaisna will be able to register more than 3,600 people per day. But currently these are still under construction.”