Abu Dhabi begins automated immigration system

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Abu Dhabi International Airport has begun registering passport holders for its new e-gate system to speed up immigration control to less than 20 seconds.

The automated system allows passengers to move through immigration without contact with an official by having their passport and face scanned.

Abu Dhabi is the first airport to receive the technology in the UAE and authorities have announced it will be rolled out across the country.

Dubai International Airport already uses a similar system.

Registration is open to citizens, GCC citizens, UAE residents and visitors who obtained their visa at the airport.

Users must have their passports, eyes and hands scanned.

At immigration control they will then scan their passport and look into a camera that checks their face and irises against the database.

While the system is fully automated some border security staff will be on hand to assist.

The technology is being used at other international airports around the world and is seen as vital for the UAE, where air passenger numbers are soaring annually.

Abu Dhabi International Airport saw a record 14.7m passengers last year, while it already has recorded a 14.2 percent increase in the first four months of 2013.

Dubai International Airport now is the second busiest in the world, with nearly 60m passengers passing through annually.

It is not clear whether it will adopt the same technology as Abu Dhabi.

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