A world-first smart travel scheme has been launched in Dubai.
That sinking feeling when you realised you’ve left your passport at home on the way to the airport could soon be a thing of the past.
UAE residents departing from Dubai International Airport can now use their smartphones to get through the e-gates. That’s right, no pesky paper passports needed.
The new service is called the UAEWallet, and comes in the form of an official app.
UAE citizens and residents can register their personal details, Emirates ID and passport information, which means you simply have to scan a barcode generated by the app as you pass through the airport, and provide a fingerprint for identity purposes.
According to Gulf News, developers are confident that it is impossible to hack or misuse the app, which has undergone security checks.
At the moment, the app can only be used in Terminal 3 (the Emirates terminal), but is expected to be rolled out across all terminals once the system is linked with other airlines.
According to the Emirates New Agency, the aim of the new scheme is to streamline travel across Dubai International Airport, and is considered the first of its kind in the world.
Last year, the idea of “paperless passports” was floated by British company De La Rue, the world’s biggest passport producer.
The company said it was working on technology that would allow passengers to securely store their passport details on their smartphones, in the same way as mobile boarding passes – and it looks like Dubai has now made that idea a reality.
Of course, until the rest of the world comes onboard with the technology, you’ll still need to carry your passport with you to actually be able to enter countries… so enjoy collecting those stamps while you still can.