Stock Dubai airport smart gate
Dubai airport passengers smart gate Image Credit: GDRFA

Dubai: With the Eid holidays and school summer vacations around the corner, you may have already booked your tickets for a holiday. But, if you want to avoid the holiday rush, you can take advantage of Smart Gates that have been installed at Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3, which allow guests to go through passport control in a matter of seconds.

However, it is important to note that not every passenger can use the Smart Gates – the service is available for certain groups of passengers, who are eligible for the smart immigration system. Here is a quick guide on who can use the smart gates and how.

What are Smart Gates?

Smart Gates are a new contactless process to complete passport control procedures. The gates have been installed at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, near the arrival and departure terminal of the airport.

According to the website of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), travellers can scan their biometric passport or Emirates ID at the smart gate and walk through a biometric recognition system without the need for an exit stamp on their passports. The gates use facial and iris recognition technology to let travellers complete passport control procedures without human intervention.


Who can use the Smart Gates?

To be eligible to use the Smart Gates, you need to fall under any of these categories:

• UAE and GCC Nationals
• UAE Residents
• Countries of citizens eligible for visa on arrival

How do I use smart Gates?

Using the Smart Gate is a straightforward process:

1. Firstly, you must remove anything covering your face, such as masks, glasses and hats, and your boarding pass and passport should be at hand, if required.

2. Scan your Emirates ID or biometric passport if you are a visitor.

3. Next, look directly at the green light on top of the camera to verify your biometrics.

4. Once your biometrics are approved, the Smart Gates will open, and your passport control process is done.

Who are not allowed to use Smart Gates?

The following groups of people:

• People of Determination and guests with large strollers.
• Families with children.
• Guests who are under 15 years old or under 1.2 meters in height

As per GDRFA, UAE residents who stayed outside the UAE for more than six months and passengers with a renewed passport are also not allowed to use the Smart Gates.

According to the GDRFA call centre, UAE residents who have renewed their passport, usually have their old and renewed passport stapled together. If the UAE residence visa is on the old passport, the residence visa must be transferred to the renewed passport in order to use the Smart Gates. Ideally, UAE residents can use their Emirates ID instead at the Smart Gates.