Dubai set to improve airport biometric scanning measures

Automatic registration system enabled by advanced cameras will reduce waiting times for frequent foreign visitors

Arabian Business

Frequent foreign visitors to Dubai will "soon" be able to avoid waiting in a queue for eye scan at the airport, which is a mandatory security check procedure, sister publication Arabian Business reported.

An automatic registration system enabled by advanced cameras will carry out the eye scan of all passengers, easing the passenger flow and saving their time, senior officials told state news agency WAM.

Passengers’ biometric data - iris and facial recognition features - will be recorded and stored on the system automatically on their first entry through Dubai Airports.

This means on their second visit onwards they will not need to go through eye scan again, WAM said.

"We are launching the new system under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to develop services in all government entities and institutions for achieving the first rank in customer services," said Major General Mohammed Al Marri, director general of GDRFA Dubai.

Brigadier Talal Al Shanaqeti, general director of Airport Passport Affairs Sector at the GDRFA Dubai, added: "At present, visitors have to go through eye scan each time they enter the UAE and there is a designated counter for this purpose at border control.

"Foreigners having a residence visa in the UAE do not need to undergo this process at border control, as their biometric data have already been taken and stored on the UAE’s official database as part of the Emirates ID application process."

The passport control system compares the iris patterns of all arriving passengers in real-time against an enrolled central database, which helps the authorities to identify people who have already been banned from entering the UAE, he said.

"The new system will help visitors save their time while arriving at Dubai Airports, as they will not spend time for eye scan as an additional procedure. It will be done while they are walking through the passport control counter," Al Shanaqeti added.

He also said the GDRFA Dubai has already started installing the advanced new cameras for automatic registration at Terminal 3 - Arrivals. "We will soon install the new cameras in the other terminals," he said.

A total of 122 Smart Gates at four Dubai Airports terminals have already put an end to manual stamping on passports while a Smart Tunnel in its trial phase has been deployed at Terminal 3, the first of its kind in the world.

It facilitates passport control procedure within 10 seconds.

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