The Dubai government says it's taken another step closer to becoming a smart government, with its smart gates at the Dubai International Airports said to have already seen as many as 1.7 million passengers pass through them.
As national newspaper the Khaleej Times reports, 530,000 people have registered in the immigration smart gates so far – and it's a figure that continues to rise.
Major-General Mohammed Al Marri, director-general of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, revealed the statistics at the inauguration of a new smart gate registration centre at the Mirdif City Centre last week.
Al Marri explained that registration is open from 10am to 10pm and is free for all residents and Emiratis until December 22. He urged residents to make the most of the service, which normally costs over Dh200.
Smart gates, which are equipped with automatic identification system, facial imprint and automatic iris scan, are designed to help passengers complete their passport control procedures at Dubai's two international airports as quickly as possible.
It's claimed that passengers are able to check in and out at the arrival and departure counters in just 14 seconds.
Al Marri says that older family members have had no problem using the smart facility – but children under 17 are not allowed to use the gates and immigration officers will stamp their passports instead.
"The project is aimed to decrease the immigration counters, ease and expedite procedures with over 78 million passengers expected to use the Dubai International Airport in 2015 and 103 million by 2020," Al Marri explained.