By 2025, the United Arab Emirates hopes to digitize 100 percent of its end-to-end services. This is part of its comprehensive UAE Digital Government Strategy 2025. A prominent embodiment of the country’s digital-forward vision is the introduction of the UAE Pass app. UAE Pass benefits include having a secure national digital identity and streamlined access to various services.
What is UAE Pass?
Launched in 2018, the UAE Pass app is a collaborative effort among Digital Dubai, the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) and the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority. It’s an app that serves as a secure digital identity recognized by both the public and private sectors.
Accessible from across all emirates, it streamlines digital document management and facilitates digital signing, minimizing the need for in-person visits to government offices.
The government describes it as the “first national digital identity solution that enables you to identify yourself to service providers in all emirates through a smartphone-based authentication.”
As of June 2023, it has more than 5 million registered users. It has also facilitated access to about 15,000 digital services.
Users of the UAE Pass will enjoy the following features.
The platform employs cutting-edge facial recognition technology (Facial ID) within its registration process. This approach ensures a swift account creation process, requiring less than five minutes for verification — minus the need to visit government service centers. Prior to the Facial ID system, users endured a 20-minute registration process that also required trips to government hubs for verification.
Digital document storage
To access various services, one has to secure several pertinent documents. With the app, users can securely store and share digital documents through its digital vault. Additionally, this feature allows people to request digital versions of official documents.
As of June 2023, this feature offers 22 types of reliable digital documents issued by 9 different entities. It has since seen more than 1.5 million document shares among its partners. The digital vault operates on blockchain technology, ensuring security and allowing easier traceability.
The UAE Pass also gives users the flexibility to upload and sign documents directly via the app or on the website. Whether signing a virtual document to facilitate a transaction or verifying a document shared by another user, this feature allows seamless digital document management.
UAE Pass benefits
Efficiency is at the core of this pioneering digital identity app. Here are its key advantages.
Interoperability across emirates
Users can utilize the UAE Pass and enjoy its services seamlessly across all emirates, fostering convenience and a significant reduction in often-time-consuming bureaucratic processes. This interoperability ensures a unified digital experience and marks a landmark development in creating a digitally connected nation.
Minimized in-person visits
The app also grants users access to a myriad of online services. It diminishes the need to visit government offices and rely on physical documents. By minimizing in-person engagements, the government makes essential services more readily available to as many people as possible.
Integration with the private sector
This innovation goes beyond accessing government services. Users may use this to transact with various entities such as banks and telecommunication companies. For instance, etisalat by e& and the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank allow subscribers to log in to their apps by using their national digital identity.
Easy customization and data management
Once on the app, users can tailor their experience according to their preferences. They can integrate it with different government and private sector services that they need. When users need to update their profile information or address records, they can also do so on the UAE Pass.
How to register
All UAE inhabitants can avail of the app. One important requirement is that their fingerprints must already be registered on their Emirates ID account. Below is a step-by-step guide on registering for the UAE Pass.
- Step 1: Download the app from the App Store or Google Play
- Step 2: Scan your Emirates ID using the app
- Step 3: Verify your email and phone number through a One Time Password (OTP)
- Step 4: Create a personal identification number (PIN)
- Step 5: Use the face recognition feature to authenticate your account
- Step 6: Set a password for your digital signatures
Note that users can register without an Emirates ID card. However, doing so will only give users a basic account, which has limited access. This can be upgraded by verifying the account via the app or a nearby UAE Pass kiosk.
On security and support
Along with its heightened digitalization efforts, the government acknowledges the need to enhance data protection. Being a platform that handles sensitive information and facilitates multiple transactions of millions of users, the UAE Pass prioritizes data privacy.
Fundamentally, the country has a robust legal framework that protects individuals’ privacy and digital identity. These include the Federal Decree Law No. 34 of 2021 on Combatting Rumors and Cybercrimes and the Electronic Transactions and Trust Services Law.
Moreover, the app is designed to be user-friendly and secure, even during the setup process and while in use — whichever emirate the user may be. While robust security measures are in place, the system remains proactive in addressing potential breaches. Should there be a security breach, the system will quickly implement appropriate measures to reduce damage.
There are also reliable contact and support channels that further contribute to the overall security, ensuring that users can promptly address any concerns.
Frequently asked questions
What is UAE Pass?
UAE Pass is the first national digital identity solution in the UAE. It provides a secure and convenient way to access a wide range of services across government and private sectors.
How to register for UAE Pass?
To register for UAE Pass, download the app, scan your Emirates ID, verify your email and phone number, create a PIN, authenticate the account with face recognition and set a password for digital signatures.
Do tourists have to get a UAE Pass?
While primarily designed for residents and citizens, tourists can also benefit from UAE Pass for easy access to online services. Keep in mind that the application process requires ID document scanning and sharing of personal details.
Is UAE Pass secure?
The UAE Pass prioritizes data privacy and employs robust security measures to safeguard personal information and transaction history. The system is being proactively monitored for a better digital experience for all users.
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