200215 terminal 3
Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Millions of passengers who travel through Dubai International Airport, Terminal 3 will soon be able to walk through airport checkpoints without having to take out their passport or plane ticket.

This service, which was previously only available to UAE residents and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals, will be extended to international travellers and transit passengers from 2023.

This follows the announcement made by Emirates Airlines and Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) on November 15.

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How does it work?

Originally launched in 2020, the Smart Gates, a project by GDRFA in collaboration with Emirates, enable passengers arriving or departing at Dubai International Airport, Terminal 3 to use a self-service option for immigration. This allows them to be ‘cleared’ by immigration authorities without any human intervention or the need for a physical stamp on their passports.

If you are registered for the Smart Gates service, you can pass through by simply looking at the green light, with no need to scan a document.

However, it is always important to keep your passport and boarding pass ready, in case they are needed.

How does the biometric recognition system work?

According to Emirates and GDRFA, international passengers will first have to give their consent for the use of their biometric data and provide their face and iris scan, which will be uploaded in the system. This can be done either through the official Emirates mobile application, which is available on the Apple and Android devices, or at Emirates self-check-in kiosks, or regular check-in desks at the airport.

After you have agreed to the use of your biometric data, your information will be linked to your passport. You will then be able to benefit from the system, which uses biometric recognition technology at multiple points in the airport.

This includes the check-in and immigration counters, lounges and the boarding gate.