A UAE national's iris is being scanned at the Dubai Airport. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Dubai: More than 75,000 people were arrested last year at Dubai International Airport after undergoing iris scans, said a senior Ministry of Interior official.

Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director-General of Dubai General Department for Residency and Foreigners Affairs, told Gulf News Sunday that the number of people arrested at the airport after undergoing iris scans had increased in 2009 by 4,000 compared to 2008.

"These people were deported from the country for different reasons and they were trying to re-enter again, but they were caught and deported again," said Major General Al Merri.

Major General Al Merri said that immigration staff at the airport had finalised travel transactions for more than 24 million travellers in 2009.

"We had 12 million departures and 12 million arrivals through the airport last year," said Major General Al Merri.

On an inspection visit to immigration staff at the airport last week Major General Al Merri said that 1,200 forged passports were discovered by immigration staff last year.

Major General Al Merri said that the passport renewal office located at the airport renewed 1,069 passports for Emirati travellers who had forgotten to renew their passports and were travelling outside the country.

"Those people had their passports renewed on the spot at the airport which made it easier for them to travel on time," said Major General Al Merri.

He urged staff to put more effort into giving the best service to the public.

"We received 16 complaints from the public at the airport last year. The number of complaints was 29 in 2008," he said. "Our staff are ready to listen to the public and sort out all their issues at the airport," he said.

Major General Al Merri also inaugurated an immigration team working at Terminal Three's passport control. "This is part of our efforts to improve job performance and increase customer satisfaction. This team will detect security loopholes in a professional way," he said.