Passengers arriving at or departing from Dubai International Airport no longer need to endure long queues, following the installation of new-generation smart gates that will allow passage through immigration “within five seconds.”
With the installation of 120 new smart gates at all terminals, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai is expecting around 40 per cent of travellers to use the smart gates.
Equipped with the latest face-recognition software, the gates eliminate the need for passengers to have personal encounters with passport control officers, clearing travellers with approved biometric, electronic passports or identification to walk straight to the baggage claim area after deplaning.
“It is the face of the future for the first time in the world. Passengers will cross the gates smoothly and there will be no need to stand in queues to get the passport stamped,” Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director-general of the GDRFA, said.
About 4.5 million passengers have used smart and electronic gates since January this year, according to GDRFA-Dubai statistics, which show that 2.6 million passengers arrived and 1.9 million departed.
“We used to have electronic gates and then first generation of smart gates, but in October we replaced them with the third generation of smart gates,” Maj-Gen Al Merri added.
The ‘biometric border’ walkway takes a 3D scan of people’s faces as they enter the airport and checks it against a digital passport using the face-recognition software.
Major Khalid Al Falasi, assistant director-general of Smart Services at GDRFA Dubai, told Gulf News that the new gates are more advanced than any gates in the world.
“The new smart gates are unique. Once the traveller’s face is scanned and when he returns to the airport the next time, (through face recognition) the gates will open without the need to take fingerprints or examine the passport. This is the future,” Maj Al Falasi said.
The move follows DXB’s consistent work to enable a seamless experience for passengers in transit through the airport. In June this year, the UAE Wallet was launched – enabling passengers to use their smartphones instead of their passports at the airport’s e-gates.