People applying for a new SIM card must submit their Emirates identity card or passport as labour card or driving licence will no longer be accepted, according to new rules by the UAE’s telecommunication regulators.
The new rules issued by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) were enforced on July 17 and affect new SIM cards of replacement of old cards by Etisalat or du, according to a copy of the rules obtained by Emirates 24|7.
The rules were circulated to all mobile phone shops and other GSM handset outlets involved in the sale of Etisalat and du SIM cards.
Mobile phone dealers had previously sold Etisalat and du SIM cards to customers who presented only a driving licence or a labour card.
“Please be aware that the new regulatory policy states new procedures and measures for obtaining and registering mobile SIM cards and services. In particular, it specifies the following ID documentation for obtaining and registering SIM cards and services-the Emirates ID or the passport,” TRA said.
“It is essential to emphasize the importance of implementing these new procedures which are in effect starting July 17 and to distribute a copy of the original notice to all points of sales of mobile SIM cards in the UAE.”
The UAE, the second largest Arab economy, already has nearly 12.5 million SIM subscribers, with one of the world’s highest mobile penetration at 150 per cent.
In a recent statement, TRA gave SIM users an 18-month deadline to re-register their cards with Etisalat and du, starting from last week. It warned those who fail to do so will have their phone services disconnected.