New Technology Drops Queue Times at Dubai Airports

The waiting time for passengers in the queue at Dubai International Airport- DXB has reduced by almost 10% during the 1st quarter of 2017, owing to the implementation of new advanced technologies for international passenger traffic at world’s busiest airport. According to recent updates, 84% transfer passengers were processed in first 3 months of 2017 within 5 minutes, 68% arrival passengers within 15 minutes, and 87% departing passengers within 10 minutes.

Smart Gates is the first technology that is reducing the queues and transaction times at immigration checkpoints. Smart Gates, specifically new service enabling utilization of Emirates ID cards for passing through automated immigration gates of DXB, has reduced transaction times by 10-15 seconds per passenger on an average. From the time of its introduction in the previous year, more than 30 million UAE users have benefitted themselves from this service.

This service is completely free and requires no pre-registration, and is available on 120 Smart Gates around Dubai International Airport, which makes it convenient and faster passing through immigration for every UAE resident. This system, launched by General Directorate of Residency & Foreigner Affairs (GDRFA), Emirates Identity Authority, and Dubai Airports, is capable of quickly, efficiently, and accurately confirming identities, eligibilities, and travel plans of UAE residents for entering and departing the country.

Another technology reducing waiting times is sophisticated motion sensor systems which provide airports with tracking of queues on a real-time basis. The system comprises series of 530 sensors, installed at critical passenger processing areas across terminals 1 and 3 at DXB. These sensors enable tracking of people’s movement, collecting & computing valuable data such as passenger queue lengths and wait times, and calculating prevailing service level based on those factors.

Data is conveyed through simple mobile app utilized by more than five thousand operational staff around Dubai Airlines, Airports, and control authorities working at airports. Alerting every team on a real-time basis, the mobile application enables the operational staff of Dubai airports in identifying the bottlenecks quickly and facilitating deployment of resources for addressing them. Implementation of terminal 2 is expected to occur during 2017.

Senior Vice President of operations of Dubai Airports, Frank McCrorie, said at Dubai International Airports that the automated system offers them with a more accurate and timelier data faster than the manual system which was utilized previously. He said that this has provided the operations team & other organizations working across the airport with a bird’s eye view over bottlenecks, enabling them to manage to staff of lanes and levels in a better way, and improvise the overall experience of customers. He added that they yet have much work to do in this field, at the same time being pleased with the progress till date.

Access to month-on-month, day-to-day, historical data also implies to the capability of Dubai Airports’ planning teams in identifying trends and predicting problems prior to their occurrence. The analysis has resulted in an enhanced decision making between boosted service levels and stakeholders. Both technologies support the DXB Plus program of Dubai Airports which is designed for improving service while surging the capacity to 118 million passengers at Dubai International Airport by 2018.


Jones is a tech blogger, editor, and start-up aspirant. With his insights, he offers a lucid explanation of the most complex issues surrounding the tech-world today. Jones has written for a wide number of publications as a freelance writer, and currently, he is in-house writer for TechnoRhythms. Jones loves to connect with tech enthusiasts and voraciously discusses the latest in the happening of the tech world.