About 1.2 million ID card holders can soon use their national ID cards as e-gate cards to avail fast-track immigration clearance at airports across the country.
"ID card holders who also have an e-gate card can just visit any of the 37 enrolment centres with their cards and they will be able to integrate the e-gate facility within a minute",
"The enrolment centres have been set up at all international airports in the country and immigration departments," said General Ahmad Nasser Al Raisi, general director of General Directorate, Central Operations, Abu Dhabi Police.
"ID card holders who do not have an e-gate card can also integrate the facility by paying a Dh150 fee.
Emirati ID card holders do not need to carry their passport to travel to GCC countries as ID card acts as an e-passport," Al Raisi explained.
This becomes possible following a strategic agreement signed on Sunday between General Headquarters of Abu Dhabi Police and Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) in the presence of Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Interior.
Al Raisi in his capacity as the head of the Electronic Gate Project, and Darwish Ahmad Al Zarouni, director general of the Emirates ID, signed the agreement to integrate the e-gate facility with the ID cards.
"About 137 electronic gates have been installed at [the] country's borders and 37 centres are issuing the e-gate cards," Al Raisi said.
"About 500,000 e-gate cards have been issued so far", he added.
This is the major value-added service with ID cards apart from personal identification, said Thamer Rashid Al Qasimi, planning director and project management director at the Emirates ID.
"e-gate system is totally controlled by Ministry of Interior and they will soon announce the procedures to integrate the facility [e-gate] with ID cards. An online system in future may make the integration easier for people; which will be announced by |Ministry of Interior later, he explained.
The e-Gate card provides a fast-track immigration clearance using smart technology and a fingerprint scan.
This not only takes one through immigration faster but also saves space on a passenger's passport, as it eliminates the need for a manual stamp every time they travel.
Al Zarouni earlier told Gulf News that ID card holders would in future not be needed to swipe or insert cards in card-reading machines to be able to use services like e-Gate thanks to a contactless technology,
"Card holders have to just show the cards to card readers as Emirates ID will soon adopt RF-ID technology [a contactless smart card technology] for new cards, he said.