20,000 people walk through Dubai International Airport without showing passports

Marie Nammour /Dubai Filed on July 23, 2019 | Last updated on August 18, 2019 at 08.09 am
Dubai International Airport, passport, travellers,Smart Tunnel,
SUCH A BREEZE: A traveller passes through the Smart Tunnel at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport. ­- KT File

There's no need for any other documents; not even a touchscreen is present for fingerprint verification.

More than 20,000 travellers have already passed through Dubai International Airport without having to show their passports - since the Smart Tunnel was launched in October last year.

Currently available for business and first-class travellers at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport, the high-tech service allows for a seamless immigration clearance in one single step. There's no need for any other documents; not even a touchscreen is present for fingerprint verification.

What travellers have to do is simply walk through a smart tunnel and look at the camera, equipped with biometric recognition technology. Once cleared, passengers can board the flight without waiting to get their passports stamped.

"In a matter of three to four seconds or so - depending on how fast the traveller walks and how familiar the person is with the new system - passengers just walk through the tunnel and that's it. All their biometrics are already there," Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners' Affairs (GDRFA), told Khaleej Times.

"Dubai is the first city worldwide to install the Smart Tunnel. The system has been in place since October 2018," he added.

Every day, travellers can be seen walking and exiting through the tunnel in seconds.

Lt-Col Walid Ahmad Saeed, assistant deputy director of airport services at the GDRFA, said only the iris scan is a must for a passenger to use the tunnel.

"It is a seamless process that will be implemented in other terminals in the future," he said, stressing that the target is to register as many passengers as possible in the smart system. In a single day, up to 100,000 passenger entries and exits are often registered by the GDRFA across all airport terminals, Lt-Col Saeed said.



Marie Nammour

Originally from Lebanon, Marie has been covering the Dubai Courts and the Public Prosecution, immigration and labour issues often, and the Dubai International Film Festival. A graduate from the Holy Spirit university of Kaslik, Jounieh, a city to the north of Beirut, she worked as an in-house reporter of international affairs at a leading TV station back home and a legal translator for a renowned law college in the Lebanese capital. Speaks fluently four languages and is fond of travelling, psychology, learning more and grown by now a rich ‘criminal’ imagination…

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