Emirates launches biometric 'paths' at Dubai International Airport to cut queues and human contact

The smart 'touchpoints' are being rolled out in Terminal 3

  Passengers can use Emirates' new biometric pathways, which use a mix of facial and iris recognition, to check in, complete immigration and board their flights. Courtesy Emirates
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Emirates has launched new biometric checks at Dubai International Airport in a bid to create a contact-free travel journey.

The Dubai airline also claims its biometric "path" will help cut down on queues, as passengers will need to undergo fewer document checks.

The touchpoints, which are now open to Emirates passengers travelling from and through Dubai, allow travellers to check-in without having to come face-to-face with airline staff.

The high-tech pathway, which uses a mix of facial and iris recognition, can also be used for immigration, entering the Emirates Lounge and boarding checks.

Emirates says its new biometric path will improve customer flow through the airport, thanks to fewer document checks. Courtesy Emirates

The touchpoints are currently only located in limited areas, such as select First, Business and Economy check-in desks in Terminal 3; immigration gates that include a "smart tunnel"; Emirates' premium lounge entrance at concourse B; and select boarding gates.

A pilot phase of the smart tunnel project, whereby passengers can walk through a tunnel and are cleared for immigration using facial recognition technology, is ongoing at the airport.

"Now, it is more vital than before to make use of technology and ... introduce processes that focus not only on fast-tracking customers, but more importantly on health and safety during their travel journey," said Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer.

"The state-of-the-art, contactless biometric path is the latest in a series of initiatives we have introduced to make sure that travelling on Emirates is a seamless journey and gives customers added peace of mind.”

The airline says additional units "will be installed at each touchpoint in the future".

Emirates' safety measures

The biometric gates are the latest initiative from the airline to be rolled out in the wake of the pandemic.

Emirates is also offering free cover for Covid-19 related costs to all travellers on any flight departing between now and Thursday, December 31.

Valid for 31 days from the first sector of each journey, it covers travellers for medical costs, quarantine expenses and repatriation costs if they are diagnosed with the virus when travelling.

All travellers flying with the airline are given complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes.

Emirates paused its commercial passenger flights in March when the UAE closed its airspace to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Since then, the Dubai airline has been gradually resuming its network as travel restrictions around the world ease. It is currently operating to almost 70 per cent of its original network.

Click through the gallery below to see which destinations are on Emirates' resumed network: