US Customs and Border Protection opened a pre-clearance facility in UAE’s Abu Dhabi last month (read more here). Now, the Dubai is set to get similar facility within a year.
There are no US carriers serving Abu Dhabi, although American Airlines has codeshare agreement in place with Etihad. United Airlines and Delta both fly to Dubai.
You can read more about this on Bloomberg’s website here.
The airline that will benefit most for having the pre-clearance facility in Dubai is Emirates that flies from Dubai to New York, Washington Dulles, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and soon Boston as well.
The host country will pay 85% of the expenses running the facility, so US tax payers are mostly saved.
It is not a surprise that pre-clearance facility would open up in Dubai as well. This makes a lot more sense than the one in Abu Dhabi that is not served by any US airline and only benefits Etihad’s passengers.
They must make some changes at the Dubai airport to have a “cleared” are with its own business and first class lounges.
These pre-clearance facilities definitely benefits passengers that don’t have to stand in long customs and immigration lines once landed in the States, as they arrive as domestic passengers.
I guess that Qatar Airways would like to have US pre-clearance at the new Doha airport (once it finally opens), but they would need to get some US airline to serve the airport first. Recently passed law only allows new pre-cleareance posts at the airports that are served by US airlines.