Dubai International Airport Replacing Immigration Counters With ID Tech
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As early as next year, going through immigration at Dubai International Airport will no longer be a person-to-person encounter, just a computer scan, Khaleej Times reported.
Speaking to the news outlet at Dubai’s Gitex Technology Week Major General Obaid Muhair bin Surour, Deputy director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai revealed plans for what is being called a “contactless” process.
Surour puts the launch of phase one in the first quarter of 2016, where departures will forgo immigration counters and become contactless. The second phase has arrivals making the leap into this new computer-only realm. Surour also mentioned a scenario with passengers completing the process before landing at the airport on board Emirates aircraft, Khaleej Times said.
“The combination of advanced passenger information, biometrics, and IRIS on the move technology (IOM) will help the seamless departures and arrivals of passengers at the airport within seconds,” Surour explained.
Emaratech, a leading tech company in the region, masterminded these traveler-processing devices. At a showcase of IOM technology by the company in Dubai earlier this year, a top Emaratech official said: “We are currently working closely with our strategic partner, the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs, to maximize the benefit of having IOM. We believe that IRIS on the move is the future of intelligent traveling,” according to Khaleej Times.
These “smart gates” are “recognized as the most efficient and advanced around the world from a technical, operational and security point of view,” Khaleej Times stated. The use “IRIS cameras to capture facial and eye biometrics of registered users.” Elapsed time through immigration is touted as a minimum of 20 seconds, making for three passengers processed per minute.
Much of this technology is already in use at Dubai International, Surour pointed out to Khaleej Times, with 125 smart gates and similar “e-gates” installed in arrival and departure zones.
Per the UAE’s General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs website, U.S. and Canadian citizens are including in the list of those allowed to use these systems.
Travelers just need to register their passport, national ID and biometrics at one of 20 stations around Dubai and receive a smart gate pass, Khaleej Times said.
Al Maktoum International, Dubai’s other airport, does not have e-gates or smart gates at the moment, but they will be installed next year, Surour said.
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