Every mobile phone user in the UAE must re-register SIM card

Etisalat and Du mobile customers will have to provide identification documents such as passports, Emirates ID cards and residency visas for the process.

Dubai, Feb 7th, 2012 --  Stock image of pedestrians walking by an Etisalat booth in Dubai Marina, February 7th, 2012. (Sarah Dea/ The National)
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DUBAI // Every mobile phone user in the UAE will have to re-register their Sim cards as part of a new campaign to crackdown on the fraudulent and criminal use of handsets.

Etisalat and Du mobile customers will have to provide valid identification documents such as passports, Emirates ID cards and residency visas for the process.

The scheme, called "My Number, My Identity" was launched by the Telecommunications and Regulatory Authority (TRA) this week.

It follows what the authority describes as an increase in the number of civil and criminal cases where the subscriber has given away their Sim card to other people, resulting in serious legal and financial issues for the owner.

As a result the TRA wants to make sure that all Sim card holders are the same as the registered SIM card users.

From July 17 Etisalat subscribers will be able to visit one of 100 outlets and points of sale across the country to re-register their details.

The re-registration process will involve customers submitting an application form together with identification documents.

For business and government customers all that is needed is a valid establishment card.

Registration of the Sim card is only required once, after which all unregistered Sim cards will be cancelled once the registration period expires.

However, as yet the TRA has given no date for the registration deadline.

"The My Number, My Identity campaign aims primarily at providing the necessary protection to subscribers and enabling them to procure all services easily," said Engineer Saleh Abdulla Al Abdooli, Etisalat's Chief Executive Officer.

"Etisalat has fully harnessed its resources to complete this process successfully for its customers through its points of sale.

"This campaign is particularly important for subscribers because it prevents any unauthorized or criminal usage of Sim cards and helps in curbing legal or social violations besides reducing frauds that have been noticed during few last years."

As part of the TRA's awareness campaign, the public are urged not to give their Sim cards to other people to avoid potential misuse.

"The TRA has established a number of procedures that help mobile phone users, both pre-paid and post-paid, maintain their subscription and safeguard their rights and privacy," said Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General said last week.

Du has not yet confirmed its registration process but Othman Sultan, the company's CEO, said last week that customers would be able to register in Du shops.

He said more information would be made available soon.