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Mon 29 Mar 2004 04:00 AM

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Governor of Basra examines Dubai Airport’s e-card system

A group of senior Iraqi delegates recently toured Dubai Airport’s e-Gate facility as part of their visit to the city.

A group of senior Iraqi delegates recently toured Dubai International Airport’s e-Gate facility as part of their visit to the city.

Basra’s Governor, His Excellency Wael Abdelateef Hussain, and his 20-member team were accompanied by lieutenant colonel Jassim Abdul Ghafoor, assistant director in charge of Border Control, Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD).

The delegates studied Dubai International Airport’s electronic passport control system, launched in August 2002, with each delegate then acquiring their own ‘e-card’ to enable quick access to the airport in the future. DNRD claims Dubai International Airport is one of only three airports in the world, and the first in the Middle East, to use the e-Gate system, which replaces manual security checks, screening and stamping with biometric technology in the form of a fingerprint scan.

"As e-Gate represents one of the key achievements of DNRD, we thought it appropriate to introduce our Iraqi visitors to this facility," said Colonel bin Belailah. "We also provided each member of the Iraqi delegation with an e-card that will make their entry easy and quick each time they come to Dubai. As Iraq prepares to return to its former glory with a massive reconstruction process, we believe projects like e-Gate will inspire them to adopt state-of-the-art systems to accelerate the pace of catching up with the rest of the world."

Dubai Airport’s e-Gate system allows pre-registered users to use an e-card instead of going through the usual, sometimes time-consuming manual passport checking procedures. E-cards can be attained from the DNRD by providing a passport-size photograph and an original passport. The e-card system reads a user’s card, scans their fingerprint and then uses this data to identify them, retrieve their information, and provide or deny airport access. Last September DNRD announced that it was would also be looking into using biometric identification techniques such as iris scanning in the future.

His Excellency Wael Abdelateef Hussain led the 20-strong delegation from the war torn city of Basra to Dubai to encourage UAE-based firms to invest in Iraq’s crumbling infrastructure. Recent reports suggest that links between Iraq and the UAE’s ITC community are strengthening. Earlier this year for instance colonel Khalid Lootah, assistant director in charge of IT and total quality for the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) visited authorities in southern Iraq with a view to assisting them in implementing IT systems at Iraqi ports.

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