DUBAI // More than 234,000 UAE residents have used their Emirates ID cards to pass through automated immigration gates at Dubai International Airport.
The smart gate system, the first of its kind in the region, is free of charge, requires no pre-registration and makes passing through immigration at arrivals and departures fast and convenient for all residents who hold a valid ID card and are older than 18.
Families travelling with children under 18 can approach the manned counter adjacent to the smart gates to complete the immigration process.
The new service, which is a result of the joint efforts of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, the Emirates Identity Authority and Dubai Airports, is available at all 127 smart gates across all three terminals.
It works because a secure link was created between various operational systems and data-bases managed by the three parties.
The system can quickly, accurately and efficiently confirm the identity, travel plans and eligibility of UAE residents to enter and depart the country when the ID is inserted into the gate.
The smart gates provide the double benefit of improving service and boosting capacity, which are critical elements of Dubai Airports’ DXB Plus programme, which aims to expand the airport’s capacity to 118 million by 2023.
“With a transaction time that averages 10 to 15 seconds, this is clearly a smarter way to travel. It speeds up the immigration process significantly and shortens queues. Our focus is to get more residents using it,” said Paul Griffiths, the chief executive of Dubai Airports.