x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Eye scans catch 350,000 offenders

About 350,000 visa violators who tried to re-enter the UAE after being deported have been caught by iris scanning since the technology was introduced in 2003.

About 350,000 visa violators who tried to re-enter the UAE after being deported have been caught by iris scanning since the technology was introduced in 2003. Members of GCC delegations were told of the system's success before to the 24th meeting of the directors of the region's naturalisation and residency departments. The two-day closed meeting, which began in Abu Dhabi yesterday, also considered ways to make travelling between GCC countries easier for citizens and residents.

Before the meeting, delegations heard that the UAE was planning to introduce e-passports by the end of this year, and that there were now 137 fast-track e-gates in UAE airports. Members will be able to renew their memberships online, by SMS and at customer service centres. Meanwhile, a study is being conducted into adding e-gates to land border points and ports. Brig Gen Nasser al Minhali, the acting director at the federal Naturalisation and Residency Department, said there were plans to extend the e-link between the UAE and Oman - which allows travellers to stop at only one checkpoint each time they cross the border - to other Gulf countries, and to residents.

hdajani@thenational.ae