by IMMIGRATION & VISAS , Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter

Dubai: About 54,000 people were arrested at Dubai International Airport last year after failing iris scan, a senior official from the Ministry of Interior said on Monday.

Brigadier Obaid Bin Surour, Deputy Director of Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) said the DNRD staff and officials at the airport were able to seize 1,088 forged passports last year.

Brigadier Bin Surour said border security is one of the biggest challenges all countries face in maintaining national security. “We will soon use an individual’s DNA as a means to verify people’s identity at borders,” he said.

“A strong safety system at airports and borders is required in order to allow authorities in each country to identify and to verify its newcomers and visitors,” he said.
He added that such safety system will be a vital need in countries that face the problem of illegal residents.
Automated control

“Also the country that faces the problem of using forged identity documents by its people and visitors and countries that face terrorism are in need to highly sophisticated electronic safety system at its borders,” he said.

Brigadier Bin Surour was announcing at a press briefing the seventh Government Discussion Forum on Electronic Identity Documents under the patronage of Lieutenant-General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior, which is being held for the first time in an Arab country.
The three-day conference starting today at Dubai’s Al Bustan Rotana Hotel will be attended by senior officials from 35 countries.

The conference will discuss the application of biometric ePassports, smart ID cards and automated border control in addition to best practices for utilising these technologies by governments, airlines and airports. “In our efforts to increase efficiency in border security, the DNRD introduced biometric controls such as the Iris Scan and the Finger Print Identification Device to the Dubai International Airport, facilitating the identification of travellers,” said Major General Mohammad Al Merri, Director-General of DNRD.

“This forum will give the opportunity to different countries to discuss best practices in biometric ePassports, national identity cards, border control,” he said. He added that electronic identity technologies will provide a solution to bio-security and border protection.

Brigadier Bin Surour said that globalisation and the development in aviation industry caused pressure on border security control.