DXB’s new face-scanning smart gates will be installed by September.

It’s official: Passport checks are set to be replaced by face scans at Dubai International Airport.

By September, 25 “new-generation” smart gates will be installed in the departures hall of Terminal 3 (the Emirates terminal).

What is a “new-generation” smart gate, you may ask? Well, these ones will consist of biometric tunnels that will take a 3D scan of your face as you pass through. The scan will then be checked against a digital passport, using facial recognition software.

This means travellers will no longer have to wait in line at passport control to have their documents checked and stamped by immigration officers. The new technology is expected to reduce the time spent at the gates to somewhere between 9 and 20 seconds.

Dubai Airport may soon swap passport checks for facial scans
Your smartphone is now your passport at Dubai Airport

“Dubai Airport is number one in the world and the new smart gates are unique,” Major Khalid Al Felasi, assistant general director of Smart Services told Gulf News.

“A traveller’s face will be scanned so … the gates will open without the need to take fingerprints or examine the passport. This is the future.”

According to the Gulf News report, about 20 per cent of travellers currently use the existing smart gates at DXB, but the goal is to boost that number to 50 per cent in the near future, through the use of cutting edge technology.

Travellers will be able to pass through the new smart gates by using one of three documents: A biometric passport (also known as an e-passport – look for the little symbol printed on the cover), your Emirates ID, or the UAE Wallet app on your smartphone.

Children under 15 will not be able to use the smart gates, and will have to go through the normal manned gates.

The new-generation smart gates are expected to replace existing smart gates across all terminals (and at Al Maktoum International Airport) by early 2018, but for now, we’re hoping this will at least make the Eid al-Adha holiday rush a little bit more manageable…

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