Over 120 smart gates installed at Dubai International Airport

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Travelers won’t spend time waiting in long queues at Dubai International Airport, thanks to latest generation of smart gates.

Since October this year, travelers at one of the world’s busiest airports, are no longer need to stop at passport control after about 120 smart gates installed all terminals by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai.

The smart gates will negate the need for personal encounters with passport control officers thanks to new face-recognition software that will clear travelers who present approved biometric, electronic passports or identification to walk straight to the baggage claim area after deplaning.


Dubai is looking to make 40 percent of travelers using smart gates.

“Passengers will cross the gates smoothly and there will be no need to stand in queues to get the passport stamped. The smart gates ensure that each traveler will only spend 9 to 20 seconds to pass through,” Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marri, director-general of the GDRFA said.

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.

“We used to have electronic gates and on October we replaced it with the third generation of smart gates,” Al Marri added.

4.5 million Passengers used smart and electronic gates since January this year until November. GDRFA-Dubai stats showed that 2.6 million passengers arrived and 1.9 million on departure.

Travelers can use the smart gates if they have Emirates ID card, registered E Gate and skywards card ad registered passport.

Brigadier Talal Ahmad Al Shanqeti, General Director Assistant of Airport Passport Sector in GDRFA-Dubai, said that a passenger’s passport register automatically in the smart gates when a passenger crosses the normal passport control first then his passport will be registered and next time he can travel using the smart gate.

“Travellers can walk through the smart gates by using their biometric passports, Emirati ID and smart phone after installing UAE Wallet application,” Brigadier Talal Ahmad Al Shanqeti, General Director Assistant of Airport Passport Sector in GDRFA-Dubai said.

The digital passport, created for the system, contains information from the electronic chip in physical passports, as well as additional details including fingerprints, iris scans and face-recognition data.

“The new smart gates are unique. A traveler’s face will be scanned so when he returns, the gates will open without the need to take fingerprints or examine the passport due to facial recognition,” Brigadier Al Shanqeti added.

Children under 13 will not be able to avail of the new smart gates and they need to cross the normal gates.

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