The Sultanate of Oman is moving to the second phase of its national ID card program, which will include upgrading the cards with e-Purse and e-Government applications.
The program, scheduled to begin at the end of 2006, involves the roll out of more than 2.5 million national ID cards. The Sultanate of Oman's national ID card program is the first smart card-based e-Government solution deployed in the Middle East. French smart card supplier Gemalto has said it will supply cards for the project, as well as provide an update of the current National Registration System. The core objective of the project is to modernise the Sultanate's identification system and processes, making it more efficient and secure, both for government authorities and citizens. As part of this objective, the creation of a National Registry System will become the pillar of all future Omani e-Government initiatives. In addition, the Sultanate of Oman is aiming to develop new technical skills within the Royal Oman Police force, the local authority managing the ID program. In addition to digital identification, electronic gates have been implemented for border control. According to Gemalto, in the near future, the national ID card will integrate an electronic purse as well as e-Government applications.