Transport Airports

Dubai airports introduce smart gates to reduce international wait times

Jul 11, 2013 6:51 am

Skift Take

This type of gate will become more and more common at airports across the world. It’s no surprise that Dubai wants to be ahead of the curve.

— Eliza Ronalds-Hannon

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Jumana El-Heloueh  / Reuters

Emirates Airlines aircraft are seen near concourse A at the Emirates Terminal at Dubai International Airport. Jumana El-Heloueh / Reuters


Waiting in long immigration queues at Dubai’s airports will soon become a thing of the past, as new smart gates will be introduced at Terminal 1 and 2 to speed-up the immigration process.

Travellers using the smart gates will be able to complete their passport control procedures in as little as 20 seconds and head for the baggage reclaim immediately.

Any traveller wanting to use the service will have to first register their biometrics, which is a one-time procedure.

Once registered, the traveller will be able to swipe his/her passport on the reader and complete the immigration formalities.

The technology is being rolled out in all of Dubai’s airports as part of a partnership between Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) and Emaratech.

A total of 14 smart gates were installed at Terminal 3 earlier this year and more gates are now being introduced at Terminal 1 and 2.

The smart gates are able to read electronic passports from the 33 pre-approved visa countries, UAE citizens, residents and GCC nationals.

In addition, the reader also accepts Emirates ID or the e-Gate as an identification document.

“The smart gates and upgrading immigration counters mark another important milestone in our continuing strategy to fully harness the potential of Dubai’s International Airports and passenger handling capacity,” said Suzanne Al-Anani, CEO of DAEP. The service is being provided free of cost and people are encouraged to register their biometrics before travelling.

“The smart gate is recognised as the most efficient and most advanced around the world from a technical, operational and security integration aspect that ensures the highest standards of safety and security to all passengers.

This is what we have delivered to Dubai”, said Thani Al Zaffin, board member and director general of Emaratech.

The gates use facial and eye recognition technology to identify and verify the user. Once the checks are made, the gate opens automatically for travellers to pass through to baggage reclaim areas.

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