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Expatriate insurance news: Labour cards 'no longer needed' by UAE expats

Expatriates living in the UAE will no longer need to hold labour cards in order to work in the country more than three months after their arrival.

The Ministry of Labour has announced the Emirates ID will replace the labour card from the end of June.

Expatriates in Dubai have until June 1st to register or renew an Emirates ID, however those living in other emirates have a shorter deadline.

Gulf News reports the process for expats in Abu Dhabi must be completed before April 1st, while those living in Sharajah needed to meet a February 1st deadline.

A Ministry of Labour spokesman said the move will make living and working in the UAE easier for expats, as they "will not need to carry too many cards after the ID registration is completed by June this year".

This follows on from comments made by minister of labour Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash earlier in the year, who said the cards would be implemented by the second half of 2012 "after the completion of ID registration of all expatriates in the country".

The new card will be valid for two years for private sector expat workers and their family members and the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) plans to use it to replace other forms of identification, such as health cards and driving licences.

This means expat health customers will no longer need to carry health cards in the near future, while the EIDA also intends to phase out driving licences and integrate them into the Emirates ID.

Expats living in the UAE have access to medical facilities that are broadly comparable to those in the UK, however the home office notes some medicines prescribed over the counter in the UK are considered controlled substances in the UAE and cannot be brought into the country without prior permission from its Ministry of Health.

Moving abroad? Get a free quote for your international medical insurance online.

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