Enter the UAE with just your face

DXB in world first trial of face recognition technology at border control


Ever had that sudden panic that you’ve lost your passport and you’ll be stuck at immigration for eternity?

Well, so long as you don’t lose your face you’ll still be allowed to enter the UAE thanks to a state-of-the-art system being trialled at Dubai International Airport.

In a world first, the Smart Tunnel can identify you by analysing pictures of your face as you walk through, meaning you can pass through border security without using any travel documents such as your passport, Emirates ID or boarding card.

The face recognition technology has been in development for four years in the UAE and is being tested in DXB’s Terminal 3.

Authorities have set their sights on the system replacing human immigration officers by 2020.

The biometric recognition software means you can pass through security in just 15 seconds.

Around 20 people tested out the tech on Wednesday after being unveiled by Mohammad Al Merri, Director General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

He said, “The smart tunnel was made in the UAE.

“We have worked with the idea for four years. The project is aimed at continuing to offer the best in airports, especially in view of the growth in passenger numbers.

“The traveller can finish his departure procedure without the need to use any travel documents such as passport, ID cards or boarding cards.”
The artificial intelligence system is hoped to further increase national security.

It will be rolled out at Abu Dhabi International Airport, too, according to Major General Dr Ahmed Al Raisi, General Inspector at the Ministry of Interior.

He said previously, “People will just be able to walk through and they’ll be scanned.

“We’re planning to totally eliminate the presence of officers by 2020 hopefully and it will be fully deployed in all the country.”

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