Obtaining an Emirates ID card is mandatory for any expat coming to live in Dubai. Coming from England, I never really understood the whole ID card thing but I was wouldn't have been opposed to it if the government decided to implement it. People say it's a breach of privacy or it's a waste of time or money and goes against human rights of free movement. It never really bothered me; I mean people usually know where I am thanks to my Instagram feed.
One of the regulations for entering and residing in the UAE is that every resident must have an Emirates ID card. This ID card is linked to you immigration record in the central database and holds your visa information and vital stats like date of birth and nationality. The process is quite simple to obtain one and runs alongside the medical assessment procedures.
I don't feel like my privacy has been breached because I have an ID card. Actually it makes life a whole lot easier. You use your ID card at the bank, to hire a car, to pay your bills etc. And it is that one tiny card that makes me feel safe in Dubai. There are strict regulations which means everyone must have one, everyone's information is held by the government and everyone is traceable.
Trust me, that isn't a bad thing. The process to get your Emirates ID is pretty easy, if your woman. The men's queues are always longer in these government offices. Read more about how to get your Emirates ID card as a new expat in Dubai in my latest article for Expatsblog.com, Obtaining the Emirates ID Card - New Expat in Dubai.