Dubai offered seamless immigration for over 21 million passengers in 2023

Modern biometric technology, including a combination of iris and face recognition, powers smart gates and transit pathways.

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In 2023, more than 21 million travelers experienced swift passport control procedures at Dubai airports, a notable 55% increase compared to the approximately 13.5 million passengers who utilized the smart gates in 2022.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai reported that these travelers efficiently navigated through 127 smart gates at both Dubai International (DXB) and Al Maktoum International (DWC), bypassing the need for immigration officials' assistance.

The GDRFA's initiative to enhance five gates at DXB Terminal 3 with facial recognition technology in October contributed to the streamlined process. This innovation allows passengers, particularly in Concourse B, Terminal 3, to effortlessly check-in, clear immigration, and board flights at selected gates through facial recognition, eliminating the need to present physical documents. The smart gates and travel paths integrate advanced biometric technology, incorporating both facial and iris recognition.

While other smart gates at Dubai airport terminals are contactless, they still necessitate the scanning of passports or Emirates IDs for arriving and departing passengers. Eligible individuals, including UAE and Gulf nationals, residents, and tourists with visa-on-arrival privileges, can utilize these smart gates after registration.

The implementation of smart gates is aimed at reducing the time spent at airports and offering a seamless and efficient experience for travelers. Brigadier-General Talal Al Shanqiti, Assistant General Director of the Airport Passport Affairs sector, highlighted the evolution of e-gates since their introduction in 2002, their transition to smart gates in 2017, and the subsequent incorporation of contactless procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The recent enhancements, including facial recognition technology, reflect the ongoing commitment to improving airport efficiency and passenger convenience.

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