Emirates to fit biometric tech at Dubai's DXB airport

The equipment uses a mix of facial and iris recognition to improve customer pathways at DXB

Emirates is installing biometric technology to improve customer experiences at Dubai's DXB airport.
Emirates is installing biometric technology to improve customer experiences at Dubai's DXB airport.

Emirates airline said it will soon incorporate biometric technology at Dubai International Airport (DXB) as part of its ongoing efforts to improve the customer pathway at the global travel hub.

In a statement, the group said it is “gearing up” to launch the biometric path, described as a world first initiative that uses a mix of facial and iris recognition so passengers can check in for their flight; complete immigration formalities; enter the Emirates lounge; and board their flights by strolling through the airport.

The biometric equipment has already been installed at select check-in counters, the Emirates Lounge in Concourse B for premium passengers, and boarding gates at Terminal 3 of DXB, which is used exclusively by Emirates. 

READ: Dubai Ruler opens Emirates airline's 16ha training academy

Trials for the smart tunnel, a project by General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) in collaboration with Emirates, were launched on 10 October this year.

Passengers can walk through the tunnel and are “cleared” by immigration authorities without human intervention or the need for a physical passport stamp.

Emirates said that once internal tests are completed, other biometric processing at key customer points will be introduced, adding all biometric data will be stored with GDRFA.

READ: November construction start for Emirates' vertical farm in Dubai

Speaking on the news, Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ executive vice president and chief operations officer, said: “These ground breaking initiatives are a result of close collaboration with our stakeholders – particularly GDRFA, who have been instrumental in the programme to bring the biometric path to fruition.”

Initially focused on first and business class travellers, the airline said it intends to speedily extend the “biometric path” to economy class travellers in Dubai, and in the future “potentially to other airports outside of Dubai, and also for its own dedicated crew check in facility”.

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