Dubai airport’s facial recognition service hastens immigration process; Needs no passport

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Travelers in and out of Dubai will no longer have to show their passports for identity authentication as the process has been replaced by a new fast-track passport control service that uses face and iris-recognition technologies.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has launched a new facial recognition scanner that uses AI technology to facilitate immigration processes.

The new biometric system has been deployed at 122 smart gates at arrival and departure terminals of Dubai airports allowing the passengers to complete passport control procedures in just five to nine seconds. However, pre-registration is needed to use the service.

The outbound passengers can avail themselves of the new biometric service at the smart gates located at the departure terminal after obtaining their boarding pass and completing pre-registration. Unlike the e-gate system, which can only be used by UAE residents or Emiratis, this new service is open to all travelers.

Director-General of GDRFA-Dubai, Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al said that the biometric systems and artificial intelligence were being used to enhance the travel experience and the GDRFA-Dubai is keen to launch new projects and initiatives that use state-of-the-art technologies to upgrade its service efficiency.

Biometric checks have been in use at the airport since October, UAE’s official carrier Emirates had launched its own system at Dubai International airport (DXB) to facilitate a contactless passenger experience. 

The service included a mix of facial and iris recognition to allow Emirates passengers to check-in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates Lounge, and board their flights, without the interference of airport staff, while reducing document checks and the possibility of passengers queuing up.

The biometric touchpoints are currently open at selected First, Business and Economy Class check-in desks in Terminal 3 at DXB, immigration gates including a “smart tunnel”, Emirates’ premium lounge entrance at concourse B as well selected boarding gates.

The airline’s self-check-in and bag drop kiosks at DXB are also touchless. The 32 self-service bag drop machines and 16 check-in kiosks can be controlled completely by mobile phones without touching the screens. The kiosks allow customers to check-in, receive their boarding pass, choose seats onboard and drop off their bags.

Also Read: Qatar Airways to Introduce touch-free in-flight entertainment; First in the World