New tech cuts Dubai immigration time to 9 seconds

As countries take steps towards unlocking travel restrictions, holiday destinations are looking for ways to stand out.

And Dubai airport is promising to have passengers pass through immigration in less than 10 seconds.

They'll be using facial recognition technology, with retina scanners and e-gates at check-in counters and passport control.

Officials at Dubai airport launched the contactless immigration procedure for people arriving in the country on Sunday (March 7).

Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri is from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs, the branch of the interior ministry tasked with regulating the entry and exit of travellers:

"During COVID-19 of course most of the airports they are facing this passengers reduced numbers, but we are expecting any number and it will be more easy. I think we are willing to serve any numbers of passengers."

According to the GDRFA, travellers can expect to spend between 5 and 9 seconds at passport control.

During a media tour, many had the chance to walk through the process.

There will be 122 smart arrival and departure gates in the airport's terminals.

Dubai's economy is heavily reliant on tourism and has been hit hard by the global health crisis.

But it too is hoping to see some sense of normality in the coming months.

According to recent data, the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is part, has the second-highest vaccination rate in the world.

Video Transcript

- As countries take steps towards unlocking travel restrictions, holiday destinations are looking for ways to stand out. Dubai Airport is promising to have passengers pass through immigration in less than 10 seconds. They'll be using facial recognition technology with retina scanners and e-gates at check-in counters and passport control. Officials at Dubai Airport launched the contactless immigration procedure for people arriving in the country on Sunday. Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri is from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs, the branch of the interior ministry tasked with regulating the entry and exit of travelers.

MOHAMMED AHMED AL MARRI: During COVID, of course, most of the airports, they are facing this passengers reduced numbers, but we are expecting any number, and that will be more easy.

- According to the GDRFA, travelers can expect to spend between five and nine seconds at passport control. During a media tour, many had the chance to walk through the process. There will be 122 smart arrival and departure gates in the airport's terminals. Dubai's economy is heavily reliant on tourism and has been hit hard by the global health crisis, but it too is hoping to see some sense of normality in the coming months. According to recent data, the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is part, has the second highest vaccination rate in the world.