For the first time ever, students in the UAE will be able to get international student identification cards which will be recognised in 129 countries. Launching on December 13, students will be able to apply for the card online at an annual price of Dh55.

Globally, more than five million students use the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which is the only internationally accepted proof of student status. The card will be made available for the first time in the Middle East and it will give students access to special discounts on hotels, airfares and shopping.

In the UAE, Infinia Alive, a company specialising in loyalties and rewards, is promoting the card. “We are hoping to reach 200,000 students in the first three years. Dubai has one of the top three airports in the world and there is a large student population coming to the UAE (each year) and this card can definitely benefit them,” said Infinia Alive managing director Prashant Khattar.

The company has already worked partnerships with 200 retail outlets in the UAE. Talks are also underway to provide cardholders with special discounts on public transport in Dubai.

While students in Dubai’s education free zones already have access to a student discount card known as ‘Jawaz’, the new card will work internationally at 42,000 locations providing special prices on entertainment, software, travel, food, museum visits, educational courses and sports activities.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) endorsed the ISIC card in 1968.

Speaking with Khaleej Times, Matt East, Chair of the ISIC Association said during the launch: “This card is the only globally-recognised form of student identity and it has a lot of benefits for any student.”

The card will be issued for students from the age of 12 and above and it will be available for full-time students enrolled in high schools and universities.