Smart gates ensure travellers don’t stop at passport control. Image Credit: GDRFA

Dubai: About 10.7 million passengers used smart gates at Dubai International Airport this year, which accounts for 22.3 per cent of the total number of passengers who travelled through the airport, an official said on Tuesday.

Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director-general of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA), said that 10,684,980 travellers used the 122 smart gates at all arrivals and departures at the Dubai airports this year. He said that the increasing number of passengers using smart gates have considerably reduced waiting time at the passport control counters making travelling easy for airport users.

The travellers using smart gates accounts for 22.3 per cent of more than 48,56 million passengers who travelled through the airports so far this year.

“We expect an increase to 30 per cent of passengers who use smart gates at the airports next year. Our target is to reach 45 per cent of passengers by further enhancing the use of smart gates,” Maj Gen Al Merri said. The biggest number was on November 29, when 34,757 passengers passed through the gates.

Smart gates ensure travellers no longer have to stop at passport control in Dubai, home to one of the busiest airports in the world.

We expect an increase to 30 per cent of passengers who use smart gates at the airports next year. Our target is to reach 45 per cent of passengers by further enhancing the use of smart gates.

- Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri

“Smart gates help speed up passengers flow in the airports as they ensure that each passenger will only spend few seconds to pass through. We are using latest technologies like smart gates, smart tunnel and the passenger pre-approval system to ensure smooth movements,” Maj Gen Al Merri added.

Equipped with the latest face-recognition software, the smart gates do away with the passengers’ personal encounters with passport control officers, clearing travellers with approved biometric, electronic passports or identification to walk straight to the baggage claim area after deplaning.

The ‘biometric border’ walkway takes a scan of people’s faces as they enter the airport and checks it against a digital passport using the face-recognition software.

To pass through the gates, a passenger needs to scan his passport at the gate and look at the camera to scan his face.

In figures

  • 10.7 million travellers used smart gates this year
  • 22.3 per cent of total number of passengers used smart gates
  • 5,533,422 travellers used smart gates on arrivals lounge
  • 5,151,558 travellers used smart gates on departure lounge
  • 122 smart gates in all Dubai Airports