By Ahmed Shaaban www.khaleejtimes.com
More than 27 million passengers travelled through Dubai International Airport last year, said Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of the Residency and Foreigners Affairs Department, on Wednesday. He said his department processed 27,093,236 applications of passengers flying into and out of the emirate in 2010.
A significant rise of 179,416 passengers has also been registered in the first quarter of 2011. “As many as 6,941,626 people entered and departed from the country through the Dubai International Airport against 6,762,210 over the same period in 2009,” he said.
The immigration e-gates installed in the Dubai Airports saw a similar rise of 70,769 more users this year. “A total of 926,833 passengers used e-gates from January to March 2011 against 856,064 over the same period in 2010,” he said, adding that “a further rise was also noticed as 17,651 cards were issued in first quarter of this year compared to 15,089 over the same period in 2010.” Indicating that the Dubai Immigration is very keen to positively respond to customers’ needs, Major-General Al Marri said only two complaints were received online in the first quarter of this year against 16 in 2010.
“Though the department spares no effort to expedite processing transactions, our staffers are very vigilant. They seized 1,181 counterfeited passports in Dubai airports last year while 68,044 illegals were caught by iris Scan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Maj.-Gen. Al Marri said that almost 749,000 maritime visitors came to Dubai in two years. Al Marri said his staffers have processed as many as 2,429,093 transactions at the naval crossing points of Dubai over 2009 and 2010. “Those included the applications of 749,000 tourists, and 1,525,904 passengers and marine people.”