Dubai: Passengers travelling through Dubai International could miss their flight if their electronic devices are not charged due to new security checks at the airport, according to an Emirates statement.
“Emirates is advising travellers to the USA, Canada and the UK that they are required to switch on their electronic devices at Dubai International airport or risk being denied boarding,” an Emirates spokesperson told Gulf News on Sunday.
The United Arab Emirates has the highest smartphone penetration in the world with close to three out of four people owning a smartphone, according to Google’s Our Mobile Planet reporter released in May 2013. Passengers will have to ensure these devices, along with tablets, laptops and any other electronic devices are charged.
“All electronic devices are required to have sufficient power before reaching the airport. This advisory is part of enhanced security measures required by the authorities of these countries and is applicable to passengers of all airlines,” the spokesperson stated.
Emirates’ comment confirms that Dubai International is one of several airports around the world that has ramped up security checks since the US Department of Homeland Security issued a broad warning two weeks ago.
The extra security checks impact passengers boarding and transiting at Dubai International, which means passengers travelling on long-haul flights will also have to ensure their devices hold enough charge to transit.
It is unclear how much time the new security checks will add to a passenger’s journey, however, those transiting with uncharged devices may face themselves rushing to meet connecting flights if they stop to charge their device at the airport.
Emirates, and other flights out of Dubai International, are operating on a stricter than usual schedule until July 20 due to runway maintenance work at the airport.
Mohammad H.Y. Mattar, Division Senior Vice-President of Emirates Airport Services, said in April that any delay in boarding could severely impact the aircrafts allocated departure slot.
On Sunday in the check-in area in Terminal 3, home to Emirates, a sign advised passengers that “additional security measures to the United State, Canada and United Kingdom are in place. Please ensure your electronic device is charged and can be switched on prior to boarding.”
Dubai Duty Free were unable to respond by deadline on what impact the new security procedures would have on passengers purchasing electronic devices at Dubai International.
Last week, Abu Dhabi Airports Chairman Majed Al Mansoori stated that, “Security clearance and checks remains as usual” at Abu Dhabi International. The airport hosts the only United States pre-clearance facility in the Middle East.