The government of Dubai has signed a new agreement with UK-based blockchain startup ObjectTech to develop digital passports for entry at Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest airport by international passenger traffic.
The agreement sees ObjectTech working with Dubai’s Immigration and Visas Department to develop a solution that combines biometric verification with blockchain technology. The goal is to put an end to manual passport verification checks for seamless entry. Or, according to ObjectTech’s announcement, the “world’s first ‘gate-less border’”.
Moore specifically, the blockchain startup is developing a solution wherein travelers visiting Dubai will be ‘registered into the country using a pre-approved and entirely digitized passport.’
When the solution is in place, inbound passengers will get off their flight and head to baggage claim, with the process of manual verification through waiting in queues, eliminated.
ObjectTech CEO Paul Ferris added:
Dubai is really committed to improving the lives of their citizens and visitors through technology and we’re very excited to be a part of making that a reality.
The announcement also points to Dubai’s “10x Policy”, which sees the Dubai government working to digitize its public sector by ensuring that ‘all public services are 10 years ahead of the rest of the world’
‘Seamless entry at international airports has been an idea for many years, but it is the advent of the identity trust framework provided by blockchain technology which means for the first time, this is now possible,” the announcement added.
The digitized passport initiative joins a number of other similar endeavors in the city which is taking the lead toward becoming the world’s first blockchain city. The marked effort is a part of a wider remit by the government of Dubai which made revealed intent to embrace blockchain technology with the launch of the Global Blockchain Council in early 2016. By October, the government launched its ‘Blockchain Strategy’ initiative, with the notable effort to transfer all government documents on a blockchain by the year 2020.
Earlier this year, the Smart Dubai Office – a government-backed initiative led by the Crown Prince of Dubai – partnered a FInTech firm toward the development of a citywide blockchain payments system. This particular effort will see all of the existing 38 partner government entities, financial institutions and other city departments connected over a blockchain payments platform.
Ultimately, the implementation of blockchain technology at Dubai International Airport, the world’s largest and busiest airport, could set the benchmark for digitized identification and a compelling endorsement of blockchain technology.
Featured image of Dubai International Airport from Shutterstock.