120 smart gates have been installed in all terminals at the Dubai International Airport by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). With the smart gates, personal encounters with passport control officers are no longer necessary. The new face-recognition software will clear travelers who present approved biometric, electronic passports or identification to walk straight to the baggage claim area after deplaning. Dubai plans to have 40 percent of travelers using the smart gates.
“Passengers will cross the gates smoothly and there will be no need to stand in queues to get the passport stamped. The smart gates ensure that each traveler will only spend 9 to 20 seconds to pass through,” Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marri, director-general of the GDRFA said.
British start-up ObjectTech worked with the GDRFA to build a “biometric border” walkway that takes a 3D scan of people’s faces as they enter the airport and checks the scan against a digital passport using the face-recognition software. When a passenger crosses the normal passport control, his passport will be digitized and next time he travels he can use the smart gate. The digital passport contains information from the electronic chip in physical passports, as well as additional details including fingerprints, iris scans, and face-recognition data.
“Travelers can walk through the smart gates by using their biometric passports, Emirati ID and smart phone after installing UAE Wallet application,” Brigadier Talal Ahmad Al Shanqeti, General Director Assistant of Airport Passport Sector in GDRFA-Dubai said. “The new smart gates are unique. A traveler’s face will be scanned so when he returns, the gates will open without the need to take fingerprints or examine the passport due to facial recognition.”