Dubai Customs ensures efficient inspection and monitoring to prevent concealment of illicit items in passengers' luggage or bodies. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Dubai Customs, through its Airports customs centres, under the management of the Passenger Operations Department, have efficiently handled over 22.139 million travel bags in the first half of 2023.

This achievement, which is attributed to the development of inspection and scanning devices at the customs centres, demonstrates the advanced customs services provided by Dubai Customs, which have significantly reduced the time required for travelers to pass through airports without any delays.

These advanced devices, coupled with the inspectors' expertise in interpreting body language, enable them to effectively detect attempts to smuggle prohibited substances. They ensure a high level of efficiency through thorough inspection and monitoring, preventing any illicit items from being concealed in passengers' luggage or hidden within their bodies.


Moreover, the Passenger Operations Department actively supports the tourism and travel industry during the current summer vacation season by complementing the "Dubai Summer Surprises" events, scheduled from June 29 to September 3, 2023. This entails creating a vibrant and celebratory atmosphere to warmly welcome tourists. The customs centres, operating under the department's umbrella, are committed to providing exceptional care and attention to Dubai's guests and visitors.

The Passenger Operations Department provides the Pre-Export Initiative, aimed at enhancing customer satisfaction by attracting traders and cargo carriers of valuable goods. This service allows for the completion of re-export transactions and storage of shipments in advance before departure, utilising the storage fees for customs warehouses. So far, 382 beneficiaries have availed themselves of the Pre-Export Initiative, which is currently being implemented as a pilot programme.

Among the services provided is also the Self-Handling Service for delivering customs documents to companies around the clock through a self-service option using smart QR code boxes. Within 6 months, 3,601 clients have benefited from this service, which is available to users 24/7. Additionally, the department offers the Electronic Control System, an innovative and intelligent operational mechanism that links inspection departments with electronic systems and monitoring mechanisms. This ensures the efficiency of inspection operations and professionalism in the work by utilising electronic systems and skilled personnel for data analysis, aiming to achieve quality and efficiency in outputs with minimal negative incidents.

Ibrahim Al Kamali, Director of the Passenger Operations Department at Dubai Customs, stated that within Dubai Customs' 2021-2026 plan, the Passenger Operations Department plays a crucial role in facilitating customs procedures for travelers, ensuring their satisfaction, providing optimal reception, and enhancing the services offered to them. This reflects the civilized image of the UAE and specifically Dubai, while enhancing Dubai's reputation as a tourism and business capital. Continuous efforts are being made to ensure the smooth flow of travelers in Dubai's airports and to protect the community by controlling narcotics and prohibited substances.

He further added that the Passenger Operations Department provides travellers with the Customs Guide to familiarise them with the items they need to declare when traveling. This includes personal luggage and gifts. The available guide on the department's website clarifies prohibited items and anything that contradicts the laws, procedures of the country, and the unified law. Restricted items, on the other hand, are items that passengers carry with them and require approvals from relevant authorities, such as medicines, agricultural seedlings, printed or visual publications, cosmetics, food products, wireless and electronic devices, unmanned aircraft, and others.

He pointed out that the development of smart customs systems directly contributes to accelerating the flow of incoming travelers to the country. One prominent example is the iDeclare programme developed by the department to facilitate the movement of travelers and tourists. The application allows incoming passengers to make an early declaration of their luggage. It also offers the option to request transaction completion before arriving in the country, reducing the customs procedures' completion time to less than 4 minutes.