Airport operator Dubai Airports opened its new US$1.2bn Concourse D at Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) today (February 24), boosting its capacity from 75 million to 90 million passengers per year. The new facility will cater for more than 70 international airlines and will contain nine lounges spread over 75,000ft².
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, said, “We continue to invest in the development of top-flight infrastructure to augment service levels for our international airlines and their customers while providing the capacity needed to meet growing demand.
“Concourse D has been designed with the customer at its heart. Shorter walking distances, more comfortable seating areas, more choice in lounges, and world-class retail and food and beverage offerings are sure to impress and delight our passengers and our airline partners.”
The first flight to be welcomed at the facility was British Airways’ flight 105. The opening follows months of intensive testing and a successful operational trial involving 2,000 members of the public earlier this month. The trial volunteers played the role of passengers arriving at, departing from and transiting through Concourse D, testing way-finding signage, food and retail outlets and the flow of passenger traffic within the new building.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said, “Aside from its many customer-centric features, Concourse D continues our legacy of providing timely capacity. 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.”
The concourse is linked to the newly renovated Terminal 1 by a dedicated airport train that can transport 300 passengers per trip. Designed around a central atrium, Concourse D offers short walks to open gates, which will allow travelers to board directly from the waiting area, giving them more freedom and time to enjoy the full array of food and beverage outlets.
Dubai Duty Free has a total of 175 vendor installations in Concourse D spread over an area of 75,000ft², bringing the concessionaire’s total retail space at Dubai Airport to 350,000ft².