Emirates is gearing up to launch the world’s
first “biometric path” at Dubai
Utilising the latest biometric
technology – a mix of facial and iris recognition, Emirates
passengers will soon be able to check-in for their flight, complete
immigration formalities, enter the Emirates Lounge, and board
their flights, simply by strolling through the airport.
latest biometric equipment has already been installed at Emirates
Terminal 3 and can be found at select check-in counters, at the
Emirates Lounge in Concourse B for premium passengers, and at
select boarding gates.
Trials for the Smart Tunnel, a project by the General
Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA)
in collaboration with Emirates, was launched on 10 October. It is
a world-first for passport control, where passengers simply walk
through a tunnel and are “cleared” by immigration authorities
without human intervention or the need for a physical passport stamp.
Once its internal tests are completed, Emirates will
launch trials for biometric processing at the other key
customer points at the airport – check-in, lounge, and boarding
gate – and subsequently at transit counters/gates, and for its
chauffeur drive services.
All biometric data will be stored with
GDRFA, and customers invited to participate in the trials will be
asked for their consent.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive
Vice President and Chief Operations Officer said, “After extensive research and evaluation of numerous
technologies and new approaches to enhance our passenger journey,
we are now satisfied with the preliminary work we have carried out
and are ready to commence live trials of the world’s first
biometric path at Emirates Terminal 3 ... All systems will eventually be linked
with each other resulting in better service to our customers and a
happier journey whether arriving, departing or transiting in
Dubai. This is very much in line with Emirates’ 'Fly Better' brand
promise. We will soon invite customers to participate in the
trials for our biometric path, and we look forward to their
The airline’s “biometric
path” will cover departures, arrivals, transit, chauffeur drive
connections, and lounge access in Dubai. Initially focussed on
First and Business class travellers, Emirates intends to
extend the “biometric path” to Economy class travellers in Dubai,
and in the future potentially to other airports outside of Dubai,
as well as for its own dedicated crew check in facility.
Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri, Dubai General
Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) said: “We
are pleased to roll-out these new initiatives at Terminal 3 in
collaboration with Emirates and our airport stakeholders. The
Smart Tunnel tests are running smoothly, and we are now preparing
to mobilise the other biometric systems at the other areas in T3.
All these initiatives are in line with the government’s vision to
be a world leader in innovation and public services. It will
ultimately improve the traveller experience at the airport, and
enhance the efficiency of our operations.”