By David Cass
Dubai International joins a select group, making only three airports in the world to operate an electronic immigration system designed to cut queues and increase security.
Dubai International airport has become one of a select group of only three airports in the world to operate a revolutionary e-gate immigration system. It is expected to reduce radically the waiting time for transfer from check-in desks to departure lounges and entry from jetway to the customs hall on arrival. It is the first airport in the Middle East to install the system, which came into use this week.“As you walk up to the gate you will show your card, the gate will then open for you and the system will verify your identification from your fingerprint. Essentially, the system does exactly what is done manually by an officer but here it is automated,” explains Major Khalid Majid Lootah, IT section head of Dubai’s naturalisation and Residency Department.The DNRD has automated the system to lighten the workload being created by Dubai’s growing number of visitors.The e-Gate system is aimed at frequent travellers, so is expected to impact the business sector more than any other group. In order to register, passengers must show their passports and complete simple procedures which include fingerprinting and photography. Ten minutes later they receive a smart card which carries all the relevant information about them. The cost of the service is Dhs150, which buys a card valid for two years.His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai’s Department of Civil Aviation, said the technology was conceived and developed by the department’s IT section. Sheikh Ahmed said, “This is a matter of great pride for UAE nationals, as it displays their expertise and ingenuity in the technological field.”He went on to describe the system as “a revolutionary step aimed at eliminating delays and introducing a foolproof system that can detect fraudsters or impersonators.”