This post was originally published on 26 December 2016.
Easing the entry and exit process for resident expatriates through Qatar’s Hamad International Airport, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has activated e-gate services on their ID cards and passports free of charge.
- This service can be accessed by resident expatriates with ID cards and their children above 18 years without the need for prior registration.
- There are 19 e-gates in the departure lounge and 16 e-gates in the arrival lounge.
“The use of the ID card does not need any prior registration or pay any fees, and (a resident expatriate) only need to have a valid ID card,” Colonel Mohamed Rashid Al-Mazroui, director of the Airport Passports Department, explained.
Even though the facility has been in use since several years, there used to be a yearly fee for activating the service.
Smart passenger project
According to the official, the activation of this service comes as part of the smart passenger project, inaugurated by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister at the beginning of this year.
The objective of the smart passenger project is to facilitate passengers to complete the entry or exit process through self-service devices, depending on smart technology, without the need to approach the counter staff.
How to use the e-gate facility
- A passenger has to place his/her ID card or passport on the e-reader at the e-gate, which will read the vital data stored on the card or the passport and verify them.
- Then, the device will direct the passenger in Arabic or English to move ahead as the first glass barrier will be opened making access for the passenger to the middle of the e-gate.
- Now the device will match the data obtained from the travel document by capturing his/her eye print and fingerprint.
- If the data matches, the device will open the final exit gate which enables the traveller to move to the boarding gate or baggage collection area.
According to officials, this process does not take more than two minutes, whether to enter or exit.
Qatar ID mandatory at airport
- It is mandatory for all resident expatriates to show his/her ID card at the airports and other ports of entry as well as at airline counter and as and when demanded by the concerned authorities.
“All the authorities concerned in all countries have been notified on Resident ID card and all airline companies also were informed about it. The airlines can ensure the validity of ID cards through MOI web portal,” Maj Khalid Mohamed Mulla, head of the Airport Passports Section said.
Colonel Al-Mazroui observed that that the activation of the electronic gates for residents will contribute to quick completion of their travel procedures without standing in long queues and waiting for passport control officer to verify their personal data and put the departure or arrival stamp on their passports.
“All of these procedures can now be updated automatically through the e-gate system at record speed while taking care of their privacy, security and safety.
“This will also save passport pages for many residents as many of them suffer from rapid depletion of available pages in their passports due to the large number of travel stamps,” he added.
Recently, Dubai Airports had made the e-gate service free for all residents holding Emirates ID.