UAE passport’s new validity, features explained

STOCK Emirati Passport UAE Passport
The Emirati passport is among the most powerful in the world today.
Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security has started issuing passports with a validity period of 10 years instead of five years from July 8, with the aim of making life easier for Emiratis.

Director General of the Authority, Major General Suhail Saeed Al Khaili, said issuing a 10-year validity passport to citizens who are 21 years of age or older effectively contributes to raising their level of happiness and providing them with the opportunity to move and travel freely and comfortably. The move also helps raise their quality of life and cut procedural delays, in keeping with the Zero Government Bureacuracy Programme.

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As Director General of Identity and Passports at the Authority Major General Suhail Juma Al Khaili has explained, the same standards and controls, besides delivery channels that are currently in effect will apply for the 10-year passport as well. Passport holders must verify the validity of their documents no less than six months before they travel. The new service can be applied for upon expiration of existing passports and applications can be submitted from aboard as well, through the country’s embassies and consulates.

Unique characteristics

The ICP’s new generation of the Emirati passport has unique technical characteristics and highly complex security specifications to prevent forgery or counterfeiting. The holder’s identification page uses “polycarbonate” technology instead of paper, which increases the efficiency of specialised printing, supported by images and marks. The security features are not visible to the naked eye, preventing the possibility of any damage.

According to Federal Law No. 17 of 1972 regarding nationality and passports, all citizens of the country hold the UAE passport, which reflects the spirit of the Union between the seven emirates.

Before the founding of the UAE on December 2, 1971, each emirate issued its own passport. In the first phase in the 1950s, it was called Al-Barwa. It consisted of one page and was valid for only one year. In the second phase, at the end of the 1950s, the Trucial States Passport was issued. Its validity period was two years from the date of issuance. It could be renewed four more times, provided that each period did not exceed two years. It was valid for travel to all the countries mentioned on Page 4.

The first passport issued after the establishment of the Union was black in colour and was issued and renewed by the Passports Department of the Federal Ministry of Interior and by diplomatic missions and consulates abroad of the UAE to which applications were submitted. The validity period of this passport was only two years from the date of its issuance, and it could be renewed twice, each for a period of two years.

In 2011, the Ministry of Interior began issuing machine-readable passports or e-passports in accordance with the technical and security requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) .

The last page of the highly secure e-passport contains an electronic chip that can be read remotely and stores the passport holder’s personal and biometric data. This chip is encrypted to prevent forgery. The photo, signature and fingerprints are printed on it and cannot be modified. The first page of the passport features a watermark of the outer frame of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Features of the new UAE passport

  • Holographic logo integrated with advanced features
  • High-precision safety thread for enhanced protection
  • Advanced 3D intaglio printing with date of birth
  • Transparent window bearing the state emblem with distinctive artistic elements
  • Multi-coloured decorative motifs of great complexity
  • Laser printed photo with high security features.