Dubai airports screened a whopping 46.8 million bags last year; here's how

Dubai Customs has been at the forefront of ensuring that bags flow through the airport uninterrupted and efficiently


Waheed Abbas

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Sun 11 Feb 2024, 4:46 PM

Last updated: Sun 11 Feb 2024, 11:26 PM

Thousands of passengers fly in and out of the Dubai airports, carrying their belongings in multiple bags.

Dubai Customs has been at the forefront of ensuring that these passengers' bags flow through the airport uninterrupted and efficiently.

In 2023, Dubai Customs handled 46,870,957 bags arriving on 206,396 flights, translating into 128,400 bags daily. Behind this impressive effort are over 845 inspection officers in the Passenger Operations Department, supported by 58 baggage inspection devices for inspecting large bags and 19 for handheld bags.

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Disclose belongings before arrival

Dubai Customs’ recently introduced 'iDeclare' app allows arriving passengers to disclose their luggage and personal belongings before their actual arrival. This helps reduce customs processing time through the red channel to less than 4 minutes.

The 'iDeclare' app is compatible with all smart devices.

Ibrahim Al Kamali, director of passenger operations at Dubai Customs, said as part of an advanced plan within the customs inspection sector, the department utilises artificial intelligence and modern technologies.

Last year, Dubai Customs said it received a record 17.15 million international visitors, averaging nearly 47,000 passengers a day. This averages around 2.7 bags per passenger passing through Dubai airport.

According to the figures released by aviation consultancy OAG in December 2023, Dubai International (DXB) remained the busiest international airport with 56.5 million seats in 2023.

According to Khaled Ahmed, senior manager of Dubai Airport Terminal 1 at the Passenger Operations Department, high-traffic periods are the Hajj season, holidays, winter, and New Year's celebrations.

“Dubai attracts a significant number of visitors year-round for its diverse atmosphere and events... Daily meetings and coordination with strategic partners, including Dubai Airports, Emirates Airlines, and other carriers, are integral to the plan, along with an increase in the number of inspectors during these busy periods,” he said.


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