A few months ago, I registered online for an Emirates ID appointment...which is supposedly sometime in August..And I was bracing myself for a disastrous, chaotic experience. Given the experience some people went through to get it, and given the government's complete incompetency in communicating the right information to the population, I was ready to spend a few days running around, trying to get all the papers I needed and waiting long hours for my turn to come up.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, we got an email from our company's HR director telling us that an EIDA office was set up in Media City (Du building) and that there was no need for an appointment or anything of the sort.
So I filled up the online form, printed it out, and headed out the next day to submit my application. It took all of 20 minutes! There were 2 people ahead of me, and when my turn came around, all I had to do was show a passport/residency visa copy, the form I had filled out, a copy of my Media City ID. I paid, and was told to show up the next day for the fingerprinting procedure.
My appointment was at 9AM and I was there at 9 sharp and quickly got ushered into the fingerprinting room. That process took 15 minutes and they asked for my original passport and the receipt and initial application form. I was asked questions (such as what my last degree was and from which school, my mother's name, my religion, my address...), and got all 10 fingers scanned several times (my whole hand, and the side of my hand was scanned too!), and I was on my way back to the office.
My ID is supposed to arrive within the next 10 days.
My sister, on the other hand, had to get hers done in Abu Dhabi because her residence visa is under my father's name, and her ordeal was much more complicated. She managed to do the whole thing in one day, but had to be shuffled around from one office to the other for about 3 hours, and had to deal with some really rude attendants. At one point, she was "forgotten", as it was lunchtime, and all fingerprinting machines were shut down. She caused a small scene and was finally fingerprinted after about 3 and a half hours of waiting.
A few questions must be asked (not sure who will answer them, but still...):
1) Why is the service not consistent across all EIDA outlets?
2) Why can't the Media City system be adopted across the country?
3) Why was a simple process (such as the Media City one) not established from the very beginning, to avoid the drama and chaos that so many people went through?
Anyway...I'm just glad I got this over and done with. Not sure what will happen to my August appointment...I wouldn't even know where to cancel it!