Dr Ahmed al Marzooqi, director of the UAE's National DNA database, confirmed on Tuesday that the UAE aims to begin collecting DNA samples from residents in a year.
He added, in an interview with The National, that the order for millions of people to allow lab technicians to collect samples of their DNA, would probably be issued as a security directive and not require the passage of new legislation.
At present, only 5,000 DNA profiles are stored.
He told the newspaper it would take 12 months to set-up the necessary infrastructure, including hiring lab technicians. Once this was in place DNA samples would then be collected from the general public, starting with juveniles.
The goal is to take 1 million samples a year - the project itself possibly taking up to 10 years, based on population trends.