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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hunt

How To Get CICPA Security Passes In Abu Dhabi, UAE

31st October 2017 (Updated where indicated.)

The Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA) is responsible for the security and protection of Abu Dhabi's critical infrastructure and facilities. CICPA's responsibilities include security clearance and issuing permits for permanent land, permanent marine, temporary security, and vehicles, photography and vessels clearance. For companies with employees working at the premises of any Abu Dhabi critical establishments, whether onshore or offshore, it will be necessary to be registered with CICPA and for the relevant staff to have security permits.

(Updated 7th September 2023)

It is understood that CICPA was restructured and renamed National Guard Command, during IDEX earlier this year. At the time of writing, CICPA security passes are still called CICPA security passes and haven't been updated to reflect the name change.

CICPA security passes will not be issued to persons with the following visa types:

  • Free zone visa

  • Visit visa

  • Tourist visa

  • Visa issued from another Emirate (i.e. none Abu Dhabi visas)

CICPA security passes will only be issued to companies meeting the following criteria:

  1. Have an Abu Dhabi Trade License

  2. Have a registration with Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce

  3. Have Supreme Petroleum Council Approval

  4. Have a contract with a concession-holding company, including duration, sites, number of persons, vehicles, vessels and photography requirement.

(Updated 7th September 2023)

Let's dive into some more detail to explain the above four points further:

  1. The Abu Dhabi trade license needs to be a mainland license issued by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED). Last year, ADDED moved away from referring to its business licenses as 'trade licenses' and now refers to them as 'economic licenses'. Companies with free zone licenses do not meet the criteria for CICPA registration.

  2. Mainland companies in Abu Dhabi are automatically registered with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) when setting up, nowadays. A company's registration number with the ADCCI can be found on their economic license under their license (located under the red horizontal bar, near the top of the license, in the center).

  3. To have Supreme Petroleum Council approval, a company must have the 'Onshore and Offshore Oil Fields and Gas Field and Facilities Services' business activity listed on their economic license. The Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) was assimilated into the newly announced Supreme Council for Financial & Economic Affairs in December 2020; which, at that time, took over the responsibility for matters relating to petroleum and natural resources.

  4. A company wishing to get CICPA security passes must be able to demonstrate their contract with one of the companies which has directly been awarded concessions in Abu Dhabi. It must clearly state the elements listed above, which ultimately determine whether there is a need for the security passes.

3 Steps to getting CICPA Registration

(Updated 7th September 2023)

The company needs to register with CICPA, before security permits can be applied for. This is called CICPA Registration. There are three steps in the registration process:

  1. Register the Company

  2. Register the Letter of Assistance (LOA)

  3. Arrange the PRO Card

(Updated 7th September 2023)

This means that any individual can't just apply for their own CICPA security pass. There needs to be substance behind the application. The PRO card should be ready for collection the day following the company's registration.

Documents required for CICPA Registration:

(Updated 7th September 2023)

  1. Completed application form

  2. Trade License

  3. Signatory's signature authorization

  4. Letter from company requesting to open a file and approve a PRO

  5. Certified PRO authorization

  6. Letter of Assistance (LOA) with a concession-holding company, including duration, sites, number of persons, vehicles, vessels and photography requirement

  7. Cover letter for the contract from the Supreme Petroleum Council in case work is required in oil installations

  8. Completed introduction form for PRO (handwritten in Arabic for Arab nationals and typed in English for foreigners)

  9. Personal photo (must be 4cm x 6cm, frontal on a red background without any glasses)

  10. PRO's POA, Passport, labour card, visa (if the individual has the old-style pink visa) and Emirates ID

  11. Establishment card

The submissions must be made by either the company owner or the authorized PRO.

CICPA registration request assistance Gateway Group Abu Dhabi UAE scan the QR code to Whatsapp message us

Documents required for CICPA pass applications

After successfully registering the company, CICPA passes can be applied for.

  • Completed application form

  • Completed introduction form

  • Personal photo (must be 4cm x 6cm, frontal on a red background without any glasses)

  • Passport, visa and Emirates ID, or passport and mission visa

  • Contract copy

  • Trade License

Temporary permits - CICPA

In cases where the contract is temporary, temporary permits can be arranged for a period of one day up to one month.

Documents required for a CICPA vehicle security permit and driver

  1. Completed application form

  2. Vehicle registration card

  3. No objection letter from traffic and licensing department, including a list of vehicle numbers, categories and types

  4. LOA

  5. Trade license

  6. Signatory's signature authorization

If applying for a driver too, the following documents will also be required:

  1. Completed introduction form

  2. Personal photo (must be 4cm x 6cm, frontal on a red background without any glasses)

  3. Letter from company requesting permit

  4. Driver's driving license

  5. Driver's passport, visa and Emirates ID

  6. Driver's security permit

Documents required to apply for a CICPA vessels security permit

  1. Completed application form

  2. Maritime license issued by the National Transport Authority

  3. Trade license

  4. Signatory's signature authorization

  5. Crew's security permits

Documents required to apply for a CICPA photography security permit

  1. Completed application form

  2. Completed introduction form

  3. Personal photo (must be 4cm x 6cm, frontal on a red background without any glasses)

  4. Passport, visa

  5. LOA

  6. Trade License

  7. Signatory's signature authorization

  8. Municipality permit

  9. Security permit

  10. Letter from concession holding company declaring the person's details and camera details

  11. List detailing cameras, to include type and serial number; and persons, to include name, profession, and nationality.

(Updated 7th September 2023)

What is the validity of CICPA registration?

CICPA registration is a one-time procedure for companies. However, the PRO card expires when the LOA expires.

(Updated 7th September 2023)

How long are CICPA passes valid for?

CICPA passes are valid for the duration of the LOA and expire when the LOA expires.

(Updated 7th September 2023)

CICPA pass renewal

Upon expiry of the registered LOA and CICPA passes, the company will need to register a new LOA and PRO card. Once the new LOA is registered, and the new PRO card has been issued, new CICPA passes can be applied for in line with the specifications of the new LOA. As such, CICPA passes can't technically be renewed. Instead, a new pass must be applied for.

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Written by Jenny Hunt

Founder, Gateway Group, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, United Arab Emirates

FORBES' Top 100 Most Influential Women in the Middle East

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(Updated 8th September 2023)

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