Dubai Airports has opened its new Concourse D which will help the airport boost its capacity from 75 million to 90 million passengers served.
The new Concurse D cost Dubai Airports $1.2 billion to build, and includes a number of service enhancements to make travel through Dubai easier and more pleasant.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports; President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, said of the new Concourse:
“Concourse D has been designed with the customer at its heart. Shorter walking distances, more comfortable seating areas, more choice in lounges and a world-class retail and F&B offering are sure to impress and delight our passengers and our airline partners.”
It took months of testing and preparation before the first-ever flight could arrive at the concourse (British Airways flight 105).
During trial-runs volunteers ran through the same processes passengers would encounter when arriving, departing, and transiting through the Concourse.
Dubai Airports even ran the new Concourse through a Red Bull challenge.
With volunteers’ participation, the airport validated way-finding signage, and passenger flow. Volunteers also got to trial the various food and retail outlets.
The new Concourse was designed around a central atrium, Concourse D with short walks to open gates, meaning travellers can board directly from the waiting area dining, enjoying a beverage or getting-in some last-minute shopping.
“Aside from its many customer-centric features, Concourse D continues our legacy of providing timely capacity,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
“Today we also announce our 2016 forecast which projects 85 million passengers will visit Dubai International this year. With the addition of Concourse D, Dubai International is getting both bigger and better,” he added.
A dedicated airport train which can carry up to 300 passengers per trip will connect the new Concourse D to the recently renovated Terminal 1.
Two airlines were the first to fly to and from Dubai’s Concourse D on opening day: British Airways and Royal Jordanian.
Passengers flying with more than 70 airlines will ultimately travel through Dubai’s Concourse D. The remaining airlines will be phased in over several weeks.
By the way, if you haven’t checked out Dubai Airport’s website, you need to check out Dubai Airport’s website. (And if you’re an airport, please write that down!)
For more on the design philosophy behind Dubai Airport’s planned future growth, you can read my article for Skift. Dubai Airports’ CEO, Paul Griffiths says we’re not designing airports for people and talks about the importance which Dubai Airports placed on creating a more accessible, comfortable, and friendly passenger experience.
Just for fun, Dubai has also produced my absolute favourite promotional video from an airport so far: