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550,000 kids stamp their own passports on arrival at special immigration counters at Dubai airport

550,000 kids stamp their own passports on arrival at special immigration counters at Dubai airport
12 Apr 2024 09:13

ALLAN JACOB (DUBAI)

Did you know that Dubai International Airport (DXB) has special counters for children where they can stamp their own passports on arrival into the metropolis?

The counters have been in operation for a year now, and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai said more than 550,000 kids have passed through these special immigration counters since their launch and have enjoyed the experience.

Lieutenant General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the GDRFA, made the announcement during a visit to Dubai airport on the first day of Eid.  All three terminals at the airport have installed these “kiddie counters” to make the immigration process hassle-free and fun for children.

These special counters for children were first introduced in Terminal 3 of DXB last year and were then extended to arrival halls of Terminal 1 and 2 on the eve of Eid Al Adha in 2023.

“The initiative aims to create a lasting impression on young passengers by allowing them to experience the passport stamping process themselves, fostering cultural ties,” a GDRFA statement said.

Dubai’s immigration authorities said the children’s passport counters are unique and designed to catch the eye of young ones with an “exquisite blend of traditional Emirati heritage and modern elements reflecting the cultural renaissance the emirate is undergoing”.

There are drawings of camels with astronauts at the counters, which symbolise the history of the country and its technological ambitions as it pursues the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

As children walk through the counters, they can see welcoming phrases in different languages in catchy colours on the floors to make them instantly comfortable on arrival as they open their eyes to the diverse nationalities and experiences the country has to offer them.

During last Eid Al Fitr alone, 10,423 used the children’s passport control counters in Terminal 3, which inspired authorities to expand the service to other terminals.

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