Dubai International Airport is reportedly set to launch contactless immigration process by 2016.
Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs deputy director major general Obaid Muhair bin Surour was quoted by Khaleej Times as saying: "We are coordinating with other partners and the contactless process will be launched in the first quarter of 2016."
According to Surour, the first phase of implementation will facilitate the departures without immigration counters and the second phase will cover the arrivals.
Surour further told the publication that the immigration or smart gate process could be completed on board Emirates planes even before landing at Dubai International airport.
Currently, the Dubai Airport has over 125 e-gates and smart gates that facilitate departures and arrivals eliminating the need to stop at immigration counters.
The uses of these gates, however, necessitate mandatory registration of the user’s passport and national ID excluding registered UAE citizens and residents.
Travellers can register their biometrics for smart gate passes at any of the 20 registration stations throughout Dubai.
Emaratech, a combination of advanced passenger information, biometrics, and IRIS on the move technology (IOM), is currently involved in providing smart gates in the Arab region. The company is going to serve as a strategic partner in this upgrade, Surour added.
Currently, the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai does not have e-gates or smart gates and the government has plans to have them at the airport next year.