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Free e-gate services activated for expats at Hamad Airport
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has activated e-gate services on expat ID cards and passports, enabling free entry and exit of expat residents through Hamad International Airport (HIA).
This service can be accessed by expatriates with ID cards and their children over 18 years of age, without the need for prior registration, said MoI, in its statement issued yesterday.
According to Col. Mohamed Rashid al-Mazroui, Director of the Airport Passports Department, the use of ID card does not require any prior registration or any fees.
There are about 19 e-gates in the departure lounge and 16 e-gates in the arrival lounge, he emphasized. The activation of this service forms part of Smart Passenger Project unveiled by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister early this year, the official said.
The aim of this project is to facilitate entry or exit process of passengers through self-service devices, depending on smart technology, without the need to approach the counter staff.
Maj. Khalid Mohamed Mulla, Head of the Airport Passports Section, speaking about the ease of using electronic gates said it is very simple. A passenger has to just place the ID card or passport on e-reader at the e-gate, which will read the vital data stored on the card or the passport and verify them.
The device will then direct the passenger in Arabic or English to move ahead as the first glass barrier will be opened making access for passenger to the middle of the e-gate. The device will then match the data obtained from travel document by capturing his/her eye print and fingerprint and if the data matches, the device will open the final exit gate, enabling the passenger to move to the boarding gate or baggage collection area. This process will not take more than two minutes, whether for entry or exit, he explained.
Maj. Mulla also said that it is mandatory for all resident expats to show his/her ID card at the airports and other ports of entry and at airline counter as and when demanded by concerned authorities.
All concerned authorities in all countries have been notified about the Resident ID card and all airline companies have been informed about it. The airlines can also ensure validity of ID cards through MoI web portal, he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Col. Al-Mazroui mentioned that the activation of e-gates for residents will contribute towards quick completion of their travel procedures without standing in long queues and waiting for passport control officer to verify their personal data and place an arrival/departure stamp on the passports.
Further, these procedures can be updated automatically through the e-gate system at record speed, while taking care of security and privacy. This will also help save passport pages for residents as majority of them suffer from rapid depletion of available pages in their passports due to large number of travel stamps.
Posted on 27/12/2016
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