Emirates to deploy face recognition technology at Dubai airport
30 June 2017 14:52 GMT

Gulf airline Emirates plans to introduce face recognition technology at its hub, Dubai airport.

In a statement, the airline noted that travellers departing from Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 can look forward to a smoother airport experience with the implementation of two new initiatives that will streamline the check-in and immigration checks at departure.

A press release from the company explains that a project to incorporate biometric technology and new automated border control gates will be launched immediately, with completion expected within the next 12 -18 months.These are the first projects signed off by the joint team currently reviewing all 'traveller touch points' at Dubai International airport, with the aim of enhancing the overall customer experience.

This unique collaborative approach, involving Emirates airline, Dubai Customs, Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, GDRFA, Dubai Police and Dubai Airports, was launched in May of this year and has quickly borne fruit.

The two new initiatives announced will help speed up the processing of travellers, and facilitate a smoother traveller flow through various check-points at the airport.Using a facial recognition solution integrated with the 'UAE Wallet', travellers will be able to register and store their biometric data through multiple means including by taking a selfie on their mobile phones, as well as using biometric registration kiosks placed at check-in areas and Emirates Lounges.

They can then utilise this biometric data to ease their journey through immigration at T3 Departures, and later, other touch-points throughout DXB airport, including automated access to Emirates’ First and Business Class lounges.Additionally, new generation smart immigration gates will be installed at T3 Departures, supplementing the existing e-gates, and manned immigration counters.

These new smart gates offer an automated border control system that utilises travellers’ biometrics. It will also enable travellers to forgo the additional step of getting their passports and boarding passes manually checked by a security officer before they go through immigration, as these checks will be automatically integrated within the biometric validation as travellers pass through the new smart gates.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri, Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, GDFRA, said, "In line with the government’s vision to be a world leader in providing public services, we have been evaluating the use of biometrics to enhance traveller flow through immigration. We are pleased to roll-out these new initiatives at Terminal 3 Departures in collaboration with Emirates and our airport stakeholders. We believe this will make our operations more efficient, free up our valuable manpower to focus on other responsibilities, and ultimately improve traveller experience."

Adel Al Redha, Emirates Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, said, "We are fortunate to have a very supportive and progressive airport stakeholder group. Even if it means investing in equipment, training and changing operational processes, all partners are keen to embrace new technologies and thinking, if it benefits the end-users. We are all on the same page when it comes to wanting to deliver the best experience for visitors coming to and through Dubai. We look forward to bringing these projects to fruition and introducing more enhancements in the coming months. The teams are enthusiastic and excited to expedite these initiatives at our hub."