Emirates and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs have signed a landmark biometric data agreement to fast-track international visitor processing at Dubai Airport.

In collaboration with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA), Emirates airline is now offering international travellers the opportunity to speed up their airport experience by consenting to the use of biometric data.

The agreement was signed by His Excellency Lieutenant General Mohamed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA in Dubai, and Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer, in the presence of several senior officials from both sides.

The first agreement of its kind globally, the strategic partnership between GDRFA and Emirates is intended to further improve the innovative and digitally focused travel experience of Dubai visitors. It will improve passenger traffic procedures inside Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, ensuring a faster, more efficient airport experience for travellers transferring to connecting flights, as well as those for whom Dubai is the end destination.

By using biometric recognition technologies and the GDRFA pre-populated biometric database to identify them at multiple points in the airport, travellers will be able to pass quickly through Terminal 3 check-in, lounges, boarding and immigration, as the AI systems will recognise their unique facial features and link to their passport for instant identity verification. A privilege previously only enjoyed by UAE residents and GCC nationals, international passengers will be able to avail of the service in 2023 by providing official consent in a couple of clicks through the Emirates app, at Emirates self-check-in kiosks, or in person at Emirates check-in desks. 

Image: Emirates