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Connected Government: An Exploration of the UAE’s Identity Management Integration Strategy: The UAE National Identity Management Infrastructure

As a result of the rapid growth of the economy as well as the population over the past few years in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the government has expressed strong determination to enhance the performance of public departments and increase efficiency in a bid to improve the coordination of and citizens’ access to public services.
Among the most strategic initiatives in the UAE is the national identity management infrastructure development program launched in 2003. As part of the program, all citizens and legal residents are issued unique identification numbers and smart cards that are linked with their personal information and biometric details.
The smart identity card provides a single secure identification document. It is envisioned that the new card will further assist in streamlining and simplifying government procedures and enable the country’s citizens to use the new identity card as a travel document within the GCC countries.

The smart identity card has the following characteristics:
• One card type for nationals and residents with personal profile information;
• All cards are PKI-enabled (digital certificate);
• Biometric data on card with “match on card” feature;
• Multiple security features (anti-fraud) built into the card; and
• Multi-factor authentication mechanisms for identity verification.

The validity of an identity card for residents is linked to the period of the residency visa permit; i.e., the expiry date as it appears on the card would be equal to the expiry date of the
visa. To enhance the value and use of the new national identity card, the government is working on using it with PKI-enabled services.
The UAE government recently announced a comprehensive Federal e-Government Strategy to promote connecting the different government entities at the federal and local levels. It sets a strategic objective of having a connected government serving the entire population, where the new identity management infrastructure is envisioned to play a fundamental role.
By adopting cutting-edge and innovative technologies in this promising national program, the government is keen to make it play an active and central role in supporting the development initiatives of the country. Among the primary contributions of this program is the development of a business intelligence system around population demographics to support decision-making and strategic planning in the country. Another strategic objective aims to develop and improve existing service delivery models through advanced identity authentication capabilities and facilitating e-government and e-commerce.

This post was written by , posted on November 27, 2013 Wednesday at 1:54 pm