Emirates unveils first integrated ‘biometric path’

Biometric equipment being tested at the Emirates business class check-in area, Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport.
Updated 30 October 2018
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Emirates unveils first integrated ‘biometric path’

Emirates is gearing up to launch the world’s first “biometric path,” which it said will offer customers a smooth and seamless airport journey at the airline’s hub at Dubai International Airport.

Utilizing the latest biometric technology — a mix of facial and iris recognition, Emirates passengers can soon check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates Lounge, and board their flights, simply by strolling through the airport.

The latest biometric equipment has already been installed at Emirates Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport. This equipment can be found at select check-in counters, at the Emirates Lounge in Concourse B for premium passengers, and at select boarding gates. Areas where biometric equipment are installed will be clearly marked.

Trials for the Smart Tunnel, a project by the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) in collaboration with Emirates, was launched on Oct. 10. It is a world-first for passport control, where passengers simply walk through a tunnel and are “cleared” by immigration authorities without human intervention or the need for a physical passport stamp.

Once its internal tests are completed, Emirates will shortly launch trials for biometric processing at the other key customer points at the airport and subsequently at transit counters/gates, and for its chauffeur drive services. 

Adel Al-Redha, Emirates’ executive vice president and chief operations officer, said: “Guided by our chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates continuously innovates and strives to improve our day-to-day business. After extensive research and evaluation of numerous technologies and new approaches to enhance our passenger journey, we are now satisfied with the preliminary work we have carried out and are ready to commence live trials of the world’s first biometric path at Emirates Terminal 3.”

“These ground breaking initiatives are a result of close collaboration with our stakeholders — particularly GDRFA who have been instrumental in the program to bring the biometric path to fruition.”


Marriott hotel, apartments open in Riyadh’s DQ

Updated 21 March 2019
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Marriott hotel, apartments open in Riyadh’s DQ

Marriott International and Dur Hospitality this week celebrated the opening of the Riyadh Marriott Hotel Diplomatic Quarter and Marriott Executive Apartments Riyadh, Diplomatic Quarter. The complex is strategically located in the heart of one of the most sought-after areas in the city with easy access to key embassies and major corporate headquarters, and a 30-minute drive from King Khalid International Airport. 

“We are delighted to enhance our footprint in Saudi Arabia with the opening of two strategically important hotels that not only complement each other but also deliver very distinct brand experiences. Saudi Arabia continues to be one of our key markets and we are delighted to further strengthen our partnership with Dur Hospitality,” said Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International.

The hotel is inspired by Wadi Hanifa, a beautiful desert oasis running through Riyadh. The low-rise hotel resembles the smooth, dry canyon walls that make for a dramatic arrival experience. Once you step inside, the waterways guide the way into the building, ushering guests through the arrival court into the palm-dotted oasis in the hotel’s courtyard. Planted cacti, flowering vines, plentiful blooming desert flora and native date palm trees create a calming ambiance, providing shade from the desert sun. 

The complex is the first five-star full service hotel in the Diplomatic Quarter and features 80 spacious modern rooms, and 140 fully equipped apartments. The deluxe rooms feature modern décor and ample work space, allowing guests to stay connected with in-room technology, including high-speed WiFi and bedside USB outlets. Guests staying in one of the six Premium Suites or the Presidential Suite can enrich their experience in the M Club Lounge offering an international buffet, hors d’oeuvre and local specialties 24 hours a day. 

The Riyadh Marriott Hotel Diplomatic Quarter houses three dining venues, Goji Kitchen — an all-day dining destination, a la carte restaurant Mesquite and Agave Café located in the lobby. The hotel offers multiple recreational areas surrounded by lush greenery. 

Muin Serhan, general manager of Marriott Hotels in Riyadh, said: “The opening of Marriott Riyadh and Marriott Executive Apartments Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter is considered an important milestone in our developing journey in the hospitality field; we are keen to provide a very special experience to our valuable guests whatever they are traveling for — business or leisure.”

He added: “And we are very proud to be part of the new Marriott travel program ‘Marriott Bonvoy,’ built on the belief that travel enriches its members and the world around them. Launching in February 2019, Marriott Bonvoy replaces Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).”