Dubai – 15 March 2023: In 2022, Dubai Customs’ Terminal 2 Customs Center handled a whopping 5.535 million bags and made 166 seizures in 2022. His Excellency Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director-General of Dubai Customs and CEO of the Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation, led a nighttime tour of Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport's customs center. The purpose of the visit was to improve the readiness of customs centers and promote the growth of tourism and travel in Dubai. The Department's leadership team accompanied him on the tour. There, he was welcomed by Ibrahim Al Kamali, Director of Passenger Operations Department, and Falah Khalil Al Samak, Senior Manager of Terminal 2 Operations, who gave him a rundown of the center's operations and the constant improvement of customs services and facilities offered to visitors and jetsetters alike.
Terminal 2 Customs Center handled a staggering 5.535 million bags last year and made 166 seizures, of which 133 were related to smuggling attempts of forbidden goods and 33 related to customs violations. One of the most memorable seizures in 2022 was the discovery of 36.76 kilograms of marijuana cunningly hidden among food items in two bags belonging to a passenger arriving from an African country.
H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih lauded the diligent efforts of the staff at the center and their unwavering dedication to improving customs services for passengers. Musabih emphasized that the customs centers at Dubai airports are constantly progressing and providing better services and amenities for tourism and travel, aligning with the UAE's ambitious plans to boost the number of travelers and tourists and cement its position as a global and regional hub for travel and tourism. The UAE is set to enhance its critical role as a hub for global sustainability efforts by hosting the COP28 global climate change conference in 2023 at Expo Dubai.
Musabih reiterated that Dubai Customs is committed to keeping up with these plans by continuously improving its services, implementing its strategic plan 2021-2026 aimed at consolidating its position as a world leader in secure customs. This will enable it to actively contribute to achieving the goals of Dubai's economic agenda, D33, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to double the size of Dubai's economy over the next decade and position it as one of the world's top three economic cities.
The Director General of Dubai Customs emphasized that the Department is committed to supporting Dubai and the UAE's ability to attract tourists and travelers from all over the world. They are continually working on developing the skills of employees in customs centers through intensive training courses on the latest global practices and methods in customs development, strengthening expertise and knowledge in customs inspection. Dubai Customs is also supported by the latest customs devices and technologies, using the best smart applications for information technology and artificial intelligence. The Smart iDeclare application, for example, which was developed in-house, enables travelers to electronically declare the goods, cash, and precious metals they have in their possession in less than five minutes before arriving at the border crossings in Dubai.
Falah Khalil Al-Samak spoke of the various initiatives that have been implemented to enhance the capabilities of customs centers in Dubai airports. Among these initiatives is the 'Smart Bag' service, which revolutionizes the way passengers handle their luggage by providing a digital solution for delivering customs documents without the need for physical paperwork. The coordination with government agencies in Terminal 2 has also resulted in an agreement with the General Administration of Airport Security to update the mechanism for dealing with delayed bags, making the overall process smoother and more convenient for passengers.