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Virtual Tour

Emirates ID Leads the Organizations that Enable Elections


The elections to the Federal National Council (FNC) are expected to be a greater success not just because we are now in the year 2015 and not in 2011, but due to multiple reasons, chief among them being the early decision to form a committee reflective of the eagerness of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, for carrying on with the UAE’s experience in political participation. The diverse competencies and expertise that characterize the members of the National Committee for Elections are indicative of that eagerness – no excellence without an excellent work team. In its meeting last Thursday, the Committee reviewed many of the technicalities of the upcoming elections, particularly the services expected of the organizations and authorities, with the Emirates Identity Authority in their forefront. Our society expects the conduct of elections to be more efficient and error-free in light of the Emirates ID’s achievements such as the population register.

We want our society to contribute towards the success of the FNC elections in 2015 and even later, but how?

Success is not the responsibility of the Committee alone. We want the FNC itself to play a role – its chairman, members and the General Secretariat. We want more transparency from the members. We want the relationship between the FNC members and the citizens to be a permanent, lively, vibrant and lasting one, not a seasonal and narrow one focused on the elections.

We want our society to try electoral practices and train themselves on them wherever they are found, especially in public welfare societies and in public joint stock companies.

Elections are an educative experience as well as a knowledge and culture. We have to congratulate HH Dr. Sultan Bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah for his pioneering idea for setting up consultative councils for children and youth. The schools must begin to take up this role, so must the home – the role of educating and sensitizing.

It is necessary here to appreciate the joint initiative of the Ministry of State for Federal National Council and the UAE University to hold an annual forum for strengthening the values of political participation.

All of us, each according to his capacity, are keen on the continuous success of political participation as per the methods laid down by HH the President. These methods have proved their merit in the midst of  the storms brewing in the region.

Papers and Complications


A friend of mine answered his own question about the benefits of the identity card, which I least expected. Even before I responded, he said the identity card was supposed to make carrying passport unnecessary. In fact; during the card’s promotion and propagation, it was told that it would make carrying a host of cards that our purses contain unnecessary – such as the health insurance card, even the ATM card. But the reality is quite the contrary; those were merely the expectations and orientations of the Smart Government and smart applications and initiatives of “paperless administrations.”

The unexpected question of the man was justified in view of what is happening before us, in terms of the similar experiences that customers went through. When you present your identity card to complete your transaction, the officer, who has not heard about faster procedures, creativity and innovation except from the media, asks you for a copy of the passport. The customer tries to convince the officer that an identity card is issued only for a UAE national who possesses a passport and a family book, and for an expatriate who possesses a passport and a legally valid residency from an empowered authority (in this case ‘the Residency and Immigration Affairs’).

The expatriate approaches the officer with a copy of his son’s residency, which clearly states that he is a student not allowed to work, but the officer demands a document for the same, reflecting the bureaucratic method of the likes of this officer who tend to accumulate papers and photocopies of transactions merely to satisfy his ego and to indulge in what he considers to be the power and privilege that come with his position! The likes of this officer with his behavior do not only pursue a bureaucratic path, but also expresses doubts about the validity and accuracy of information documented by another government authority.

Before we demand the Emirates Identity Authority to restore the esteem of its card and to show that the purpose behind it being mandatory is to make life easier for its carrier and to consolidate his data and protect them against loss, we called upon all concerned authorities directly dealing with the people to sensitize their staff that the times have changed. We are moving in the direction of a culture of smart government and smart applications that do not jell with an authority that asks for attested rent contract or its copy or electricity bill for vaccinating a child, as if the officer believes that the customer is a lover of darkness or has turned absent-mindedly towards the power of the sun and winds!

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