October 2017

Smart gates slash Dubai airport departure times

Source: http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/transport/smart-gates-slash-dubai-airport-departure-times-1.2094499

Dubai is the third most visited city in the world so far in 2017, receiving approximately 16 million international commuters thoughts its land, air and sea ports. Upcoming global events including EXPO 2020 mean Dubai’s tourist population will continue expected to grow. The city has expressed a goal for 20 million tourists in 2020.

To manage the increasing flow of travellers in a sustainable and effective way, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) has developed the next generation of smart gates. By the end of Q1 2018, all Dubai International Airport terminals and Maktoum International Airport will be equipped with the new technology. An initial base of 25 Smart Gates installed at DXB Terminal 3 (Emirates Terminal) have been operational since September 2017.

Smart gates identify travellers by using their biometric passports or Emirati ID. Both have built-in electronic chips which hold information that allows them to be used as Digital passports. Fingerprints, iris scans and face-recognition data are used as an additional level of authentication.

The new smart gate design brings down the time taken to scan travellers identity details to between 9 to 20 seconds. It is GDRFA’s aim to cut the time required to complete passport control by more than 70% compared to conventional methods. Customer satisfaction is also improved as the chore of waiting in long queues for passport stamping is now removed.

Currently, approximately 20% of travellers use the smart gates in Dubai and the GDRFA aims to increase that to 50% in the near future.

Another rising technology is the ‘biometric border’ walkway, which takes a 3D scan of people’s faces as they enter the airport and checks it against a digital passport using face-recognition software. The emerging technology means that, in the very near future, travellers can simply walk through “emigration” without stopping to show ID or passports at any checkpoint. The biometric border was was showcased as part of the ‘Virtual Aquarium Tunnel’ at GITEX last month.

As an international hub for business, innovation and tourism, the volume of people using Dubai Airports will continue to grow each year. By promoting seamless journeys and customer satisfaction innovative technologies like the new smart gate will support Dubai in managing its evolving customer demographic, to ensure it keeps its promise of being the Happiest city in the World.