Driving from UAE to Saudi Arabia? Residents don’t need to get out of car for border checks

Thousands of people travel to Saudi via road every month for Umrah or to meet their loved ones and friends


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 18 Oct 2023, 12:56 PM

Last updated: Wed 18 Oct 2023, 10:50 PM

A new system has been introduced in the UAE that enables citizens and residents to effortlessly cross the Al Ghuwaifat border without stepping out of their vehicles. The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security (ICP) showcased the Smart Land Borders Crossing system in the ongoing Gitex Global exhibition.

The Ghuwaifat border serves as a vital link between the UAE and Saudi Arabia via a key road crossing. Each month, thousands of UAE nationals and residents embark on journeys to Saudi Arabia, whether for Umrah, religious tourism, or simply to reunite with friends and loved ones. With this innovative system in place, travelling to the neighbouring country will not only be seamless but significantly faster.

In order to use the Smart Land Borders Crossing system, motorists must have their cars registered under their names. The system will scan the car number plate and open the first barrier for the driver. In the second step, people will scan their passports, Emirates ID and biometrics or facial recognition. Once the ICP system verifies the data, the second barrier will open and allow the motorists to exit the country.

Photo: Waheed Abbas
Photo: Waheed Abbas
Photo: Waheed Abbas
Photo: Waheed Abbas

If the system fails to verify the individual, the person has to park the vehicle and take the traditional route of going to immigration for verification to exit the country.

The ICP representative at the Gitex pavilion told Khaleej Times that the current system accepts a maximum of two people in the car. “We are working on the programme to allow more people in a car to use this system,” said the representative.

The system is currently in operation exclusively at the Al Ghuwaifat border. However, as the next phase of this transformative initiative unfolds, it is set to extend its reach to other border crossings near Oman.

Gitex Global, the world’s largest technology exhibition, is taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre where more than 6,000 companies and startups are showcasing their latest products.


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