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Smart UAE Wallet, a new service introduced at Dubai International Airport, allows departing passengers to use their smartphones at the smart gates instead of their passports.

The project was launched in cooperation with Emirates by Lt General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, deputy chairman of police and public security in Dubai and Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director-general of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA).

The purpose of the new service is to reduce the departure clearance time to between nine and twelve seconds per passenger. The UAE Wallet app is currently able to be used in Terminal 3, the Emirates terminal. It will soon be operational in other airport terminals once the service is linked to other airlines.

Lt Gen Tamim said: "The Smart Wallet will save passengers’ time and also protect their documents and passport. Passengers will only need to use the smartphone at the gates and scan their fingerprint [to finish the departure procedure] with ease."

In the initial phase of the service, the UAE Wallet will contain the personal ID, passport details, and smart gate card data of the traveler, after which all the data of Emiratis and residents will be linked to the wallet so that people won’t have to show their documents when transacting in any government department, Lt Gen Tamim explained. People will simply need to show the barcode inside the phone to share data and finish the transaction "in seconds".

The app, which can be downloaded from the App Store, is "safe and has security checks," says Lt Gen Tamim. "The developers said it is impossible to hack or misuse the application."

"Passengers will only need to scan the barcode on their smartphones at the smart gates and scan a fingerprint to complete the process in nine to twelve seconds," said Brigadier Talal Al Shanqiti, assistant to the director-general for ports affairs at GDRFA Dubai. "Emiratis and residents represent 55 percent of people using Dubai airports and the UAE Wallet will reduce traffic at all gates."

Sami Akilan of Emirates airline, said: "Passengers don’t need to carry their passport now, even the boarding pass, because all the data registered in the system including the name, seat number and flight number is linked to the wallet. This will reduce the time and effort [for all concerned]."

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