Smart card 'e-gate' to slash time at airport


A high-tech passenger clearance system that screens passenger details with the help of a smart card has been set up at the Dubai International Airport.

The "e-Gate" allows passengers speedy access through four electronically controlled gates " two at the arrivals and two at departures.

Passengers, who should be above 17 years of age, can get a smart card by registering at a special airport counter run by the Naturalisation & Residency Department.

The system is open only to citizens and residents of GCC states and well as citizens of 33 countries who get visas on arrival in the UAE.

The process requires users to furnish their passports and a photograph and complete simple procedures that include fingerprinting, the department said. The fingerprinting would ensure the traveller need register only once, it added.

The card, which costs Dh150, is issued within 10 minutes after registration and is valid for two years.

Dubai becomes the first airport in the Mideast and the third in the world to install such a system.

"The single-most commendable aspect of the project is that it has been conceived and developed in-house by the department's IT section," said Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Department of Civil Aviation.

"The e-Gate is a revolutionary step aimed at eliminating delays and introducing a foolproof security system."