Abu Dhabi: e-Gate facilities at Abu Dhabi International Airport were inaugurated on Tuesday by Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior.
The minister, accompanied by Interior Ministry Undersecretary Major General Saif Al Sha'afar and other ministry officials, was received by Dr Ahmad Bin Saif Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi's Civil Aviation Department and Ettihad Airways.
All airports in the country will have e-gate facilities within the next two months.
After inaugurating the e-gate facility, which will be called UAE Gate after its full implementation throughout the country, Shaikh Saif experienced the immigration procedures using a personal smart card.
The new facility allows swift immigration procedures for those holding a card.
Travellers simply need to swipe their cards at the electronic gates to process their electronic travel documents upon arrival and departure.
An e-gate card issuing office has also been opened at the terminal.
"The new technology, which does not require travellers to queue at immigration counters, has made travelling easy through UAE airports. All thanks should go to Dubai International Airport for sponsoring and introducing the new system," said Shaikh Saif.
He also said the system would be unified throughout the country's entry and exit points for travellers.
Colonel Ahmad Nasser Al Raisi, General Director at the General Directorate of Central Operation of Abu Dhabi police, said with the full implementation of the system, cases of mistaken identity would be eliminated.
Al Raisi said the ministry was in the process of introducing UAE electronic passports, with GCC unified features, which could be used at UAE Gate facilities.
The e-gate system was installed at Dubai airport in 2002.
Abu Dhabi airport: Five e-gates, two for departure and three for arrival, were opened on Tuesday by Lt. General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior.
Al Ain International Airport: In the initial stage, four e-gates, two for arrival and two for departure, will be installed.
Dubai International Airport: There are 14 gates, seven for departure and seven for arrival.
Sharjah International Airport: Four gates, two for arrival and two for departure to be installed.
Ras Al Khaimah Airport: Four gates, two for arrival and two for departure to be installed.
Fujairah Airport: Four gates, two for arrival and two for departure to be installed.
Implementation at ports
The next phase of the UAE Gate implementation will begin in two months at all immigration counters at UAE ports, said Colonel Ahmad Nasser Al Raisi, General Director at the General Directorate of Central Operation of Abu Dhabi Police.
Col. Al Raisi said the introduction of the facility at all airports would be completed within the next two months, followed by the next phase of implementation at ports and finally at land entry and exit points.
He said after the full implementation of the system and introduction of electronic National Identity Cards for all UAE residents, the entire immigration procedures would be done electronically using smart cards.