Understanding the Significance of Emirates ID for All UAE Residents


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Given that we live in an era where our identities as individuals are spilling over and integrating into the digital realm, several countries have taken steps to ensure that the Identification of their citizens and residents reflects this. The UAE is no exception to this as the Emirates ID stands as a testament to the region’s commitment to a digitally integrated future.

With efficiency, convenience, and safeguarding the identities of individuals at the heart of the functionality behind the Emirates ID, this unassuming card certainly plays a key role in the daily lives of UAE citizens and residents. In this blog, we’ll dive deep into what the Emirates ID is, the advantages it brings forth, and why it is so vital for those residing in the UAE.


In simple terms, the Emirates ID is more than just a form of identification. It is a smart card that plays an important role across various aspects of life in the UAE. Proving identity, residency, and citizenship, the Emirates ID contains embedded biometric data of the holder, inclusive of fingerprints and an electronic photograph.

The unique 15-digit identification number contains information about the holder; ‘s gender, nationality, and date of birth. With all of this information packed into its form factor, the Emirates ID serves as an essential catalyst to streamline any interactions with Government agencies and administrative processes relating to banking, travel, and more. 

For UAE residents, the validity of one’s Emirates ID is linked to the duration of the person’s residency visa in the UAE. A visa valid for two years translates to an Emirates ID valid for the same period. Considering another example, if you are a Golden Visa holder, your Emirates ID will have a validity of 10 years.


Legal Requirement

If you are a resident of the UAE, the possession of an Emirates ID is a legal requirement. Not holding one means that your legal status in the region may be undefined, leading up to issues when renewing your resident visa.

Identification and Verification

As detailed above, the Emirates ID serves as proof of identity for residents and is essential for many facets of life in the region.

Access to Services

Without an Emirates ID, one will not have access to several Government services. These include healthcare, education, transportation, and financial services.

Security and Fraud Prevention

Thanks to the biometric data embedded in the Emirates ID, unauthorized individuals who seek to steal your identity with malicious intent will not be able to do so.


Application Process

Submit an Application for a New Emirates ID

This can be initiated either online or in-person coinciding with your residence visa application. SetHub will guide you through the process, ensuring that your passport and entry permit details are recorded correctly.

Pay the Fees

Fees can vary depending on the type and duration of your visa. If you have a one-year visa, the Emirates ID cost is approximately AED 170, while a two-year visa would be approximately AED 270. For 10-year Golden Visas, the cost is approximately AED 1,070.

Visit an ICP Centre for Your Biometric Scan (For First-Time Applicants)

If you are applying for your Emirates ID for the first time, SetHub will guide you in visiting one of ICP’s service centers to provide your biometric details.

Collect Your Emirates ID

SetHub will help you monitor the status of your Emirates ID application through the ICP. Once issued, you will receive an SMS notification from ICP, detailing the post office location where you can collect your Emirates ID.

Urgent Service: Fawri

If you urgently require your Emirates ID, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security offers a 24-hour service known as ‘Fawri.’ Because the process is expedited, an additional cost will have to be borne by the applicant.

Anyone who is a UAE or GCC national residing in the UAE can go through the expedited process for the following purposes:

  • First-Time Registration
  • Renewal of Expired Cards
  • Lost or Damaged Cards

SetHub charges AED 2750 for Urgent Emirates ID Assistance, with both the medical examination and biometric procedures completed on the same day.

While GCC nationals can benefit from this urgent service, expatriates are eligible only when they need to replace their identity cards.

Renewal Process

Emirates ID holders have a 30-day window from the date of expiry to renew the same without having to pay any late fines. The ICP proactively reminds you of the renewal via SMS, urging you to initiate the renewal process.

Renewal can be done online through the ICP website, via the ICP Mobile App, or in person at an accredited typing center. However, it may be necessary to visit one of ICP’s service centers to provide your biometric details as part of the renewal process.

Documentation and Requirements

These are the requirements for the Emirates ID Application:

UAE NationalGCC NationalResident/Expat
Personal photo (4.5 x 3.5 cm) with a white background for all age groups.A valid passport.

A GCC ID card that is valid for those who are over 21 years old, or for one of the parents for those who are under 21 years old.

Personal photo (4.5 x 3.5 cm) with a white background for all age groups.

Original birth certificate, passport of one of the parents, or Emirates ID for those under 15 years old.

The original of the agency certificate for the person acting on behalf of the customer if the person concerned was not present and the application was submitted by a third party.   Document to prove residency within the country.
A valid passport.   A permit to issue a valid residence permit, a residence origin under renewal procedures, or a valid residence permit for those who did not issue an identity card when issuing the residence permit.   Personal photo (4.5 x 3.5 cm) with a white background for all age groups.   Original birth certificate, passport of one of the parents, or Emirates ID for those under 15 years old.   The original of the agency certificate for the person acting on behalf of the customer if the person concerned is not present and the application is submitted by another party.


In addition to the difficulties in daily life and renewing your resident visa, not possessing a valid Emirates ID can have serious legal consequences.

Failure to renew your Emirates ID 30 days from the date of expiry will result in the application of late fines.

In Conclusion,

To live and work in the UAE, the Emirates ID is essential. From proving your identity to giving you access to the facets of daily life, the Emirates ID is an indicator of your freedom to reside in the UAE as a functioning member of society.