FacePass: contactless technology launches at Yas Island theme parks

Technology is aimed at improving guest safety and wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic

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You might be asked to keep your hands inside the ride at all times, but you won’t need to use your hands while entering Yas Island’s theme parks.

Miral, the developer behind Yas Island’s main leisure attractions, launched FacePass on Tuesday, a contactless technology that allows visitors to enter and shop within the theme parks using facial recognition.

“We wanted to connect the physical and digital identities of our guests,” Ali Nimer, executive director of digital and technology at Miral, said.

New contactless FacePass technology has been introduced at Yas Island's Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi.

After testing on about 300 people, FacePass was activated at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi. It is aimed at enhancing guest safety and well-being during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“You download the Yas Island mobile app, create your account and take a selfie. That way your facial features are saved in the app. The app is also linked to the parks' ticketing systems," Nimer said.

“When you want to access the theme parks, you just purchase the tickets, come to the turnstile, look at the camera, and the turnstile will open for you. The new technology eliminates the need to physically interact with turnstiles.”

Visitors can also make contactless payments at select shops and restaurants within the theme parks.

“The cashier will ask if you want to pay using your face, you smile at the camera and then the transaction is made. If you're an Etihad Airways customer, an ADCB cardholder, an annual pass holder or even an employee here, and you have a certain discount on food and beverages when you look at the camera, it would recognise you and apply the discount,” Nimer says.

The technology will be rolled out in Yas Island in phases. The long-term goal is to integrate FacePass technology into all Yas Island assets, from access points for residential areas to retail destinations, restaurants and bars.

Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, chief executive of Miral, said: “Yas Theme Parks are the first in the region to implement complete contactless access and payment solutions. This cutting-edge functionality is in line with our digital transformation strategy, and a testament to achieving our vision of positioning Yas Island as a top global destination for entertainment, leisure and business.”