How to use your smartphone as your passport in Dubai
Now you can use your smartphone at smart gates in Dubai International Airport instead of your passports as part of a new service called Smart UAE Wallet.
Lt General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, deputy chairman of police and public security in Dubai and Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director-general of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA Dubai), launched the project in cooperation with Emirates Airline at the Dubai International Airport this week.
The new facility is expected to reduce departure clearance time to between 9 and 12 seconds per passenger.
The UAE Wallet app can only be used in Terminal 3 for now. However, it will be operational in all terminals after the wallet is linked with other airlines.
“The Smart Wallet will save passengers’ time and also protect their documents and passport. Passengers will only need to use the smartphone at the smart gates and scan their fingerprint [to finish the departure procedure] with ease,” Lt Gen Tamim said.
In the initial phase, the UAE Wallet will contain the personal ID, passport details, and smart gate card data of the traveller.
“The second phase will link all the data of Emiratis and residents into the wallet so people don’t need to show their documents when transacting in any government department. The individual will show the barcode inside the phone to share his data and finish the transaction in seconds,” he added.
People can download the app from the Apple store. “The application is safe and has security checks. The developers said it is impossible to hack or misuse the application,” Lt Gen Tamim said.
Brigadier Talal Al Shanqiti, assistant to the director-general for ports affairs at GDRFA Dubai, said “Passengers will only need to scan the barcode on their smart phones at the smart gates and scan a fingerprint to complete the process in 9 to 12 seconds. Emiratis and residents represent 55% of people using Dubai airports and the UAE Wallet will reduce traffic at all gates”.
Sami Akilan of Emirates Airline said “Passengers don’t need to carry their passport now, even the boarding pass, because all the data registered in the system including the name, seat number and flight number is linked to the wallet. This will reduce the time and effort [for all concerned]”.
How to get the UAE Wallet
- Download the UAE Wallet app from the Apple store.
- Register for the UAE Wallet any time before your travel date.
- After registering, present the required machine-readable barcodes generated within the UAE Wallet to pass through the smart gates.