The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai is joining the global drone trend to speed up delivery of documents.

Roughly a month ago, the directorate employed the use of a drone — an unmanned aerial vehicle — to deliver urgent in-house documents, between its Bur Dubai and Deira branches within two minutes.

drone with delivery payload
delivery drone

The initiative is considered the first of its kind and officials say it will help the government respond faster to residents’ needs.

“We want to reach people before they reach us,” said UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in a statement.

Saud Ahmad Abu Al Malih, who is an employee at the directorate, came up with the idea of using drones to transport documents. He is also responsible for developing and operating the idea.

The idea was adopted and funded by the directorate on orders from Maj Gen Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai.

For Al Malih, drones were a hobby he enjoyed outside work, but one day it occurred to him that it could be a useful tool for transporting documents.

Al Malih, who was showcasing the drones at the directorate’s stand at the Dubai World Trade Centre, said the drones save a lot of time. He said the trip can take between one and a half hours to three hours by car during rush hour or in case of an accident.

The drones will use Google maps to identify addresses and fingerprint recognition technology to confirm a recipient’s identity.

They’re expected to have technology allowing a remote pilot to track and control the device in real time.

Read more about drones in Transport and Delivery here..