GDRFA robot Image Credit: Razmig/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Airport may soon have a robot zipping around its terminals answering visa-related inquiries, renewing and even issuing visas to transit passengers.

The robot was unveiled at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) stand at the 35th edition of the Gitex technology week, which began on Sunday.

The robot, called the Amer Robot, was developed by a Korean technology company in cooperation with the GDRFA.

“We’re still in the process of developing the robot before we begin to think about introducing the Amer robot to our airports,” Brigadier Hussain Ebrahim Ahmad, Assistant Director General of Administrative Support, told Gulf News. “The robot is being designed to answer any immigration-related questions a traveller may have, the robot can also renew visas and issue transit permits to travellers at the airport.”

A new emigration system will also be introduced at Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3 sometime next year.

Brigadier Ahmad said the New Generation Emigration (NGE) is essentially a control room with a pre-clearance system on passengers.

“The NGE strengthens security levels by getting advance information about the passengers after they book their flight tickets,” he said, “This way all the necessary procedures for emigration are finalised before a passenger even checks-in.”

The changes will smooth passengers’ movement at the airport, increase service levels for passengers, increase capacity, and reduce operational costs.

The GDRFA hosted a discussion panel during the Gitex exhibition on Monday. Speaking about the importance of developments in the field of smart technology, Major General Ahmad Mohammad Al Merri, Director General of the GDRFA, said officers at the directorate are continuously trained to stay up to date with the developments and give the best service they can to GDRFA customers.

He also said that the GDRFA is planning on introducing an Innovation and Creativity Lab.

“The lab will act as a mediator to those who are trying to secure copyrights to their intellectual property,” Al Merri said, “The plan is still in its developmental phase but we are trying to establish a system which will help innovators in the country easily get their copyrights, ensuring that they are not wronged from what is theirs.”