Dubai International Airport
( ) is an international
airport serving Dubai, the largest
city of the United Arab
It is a major aviation hub
in the Middle
, and is the main airport of Dubai. It is situated in the
Garhoud district, southeast of Dubai.
The airport is
operated by the Department of Civil
and is the home base of Dubai's international airline
and Emirates SkyCargo
Emirates hub is the largest airline hub in the Middle East and
; Emirates handles 60% of all passenger
traffic, and accounts for 38% of all aircraft movements at the
airport. Dubai Airport is also the base for low-cost carrier
. As of June 2009, there over 5,600 weekly
flights operated by nearly 100 airlines to over 200 destinations
across all six continents.
In 2009, the airport was the 17th busiest
airport in the world
by passenger traffic and 11th busiest
cargo traffic.The airport also was the 6th
busiest airport in the world by international passenger
In addition to being an important passenger traffic hub, the airport is one of the the busiest cargo airports in the world, handling 1.824 million tonnes of cargo in 2008, a 9.4% increase of cargo traffic since 2007. The new $4.5 billion Terminal 3 opened on 14 October 2008, and was built exclusively for the use of Emirates Airline. Concourse 3 is also part of Terminal 3, and is expected to be completed by 2011. It will be built exclusively for the Emirates Airbus A380. Terminal 3 added to the airport and is the single largest building in the world by floor space.
International Airport will be complemented by Al Maktoum
International Airport (Dubai World Central International Airport), a new
airport that will help handle the influx of travellers well into
The history of Civil Aviation in Dubai started in July 1937 when an
Air Agreement was signed for a flying boat base for the aircraft of
with rental of the
base at about 440 Rupees per month – this included the guards
wages.The Empire Flying Boats also started operating once a week
flying East to Karachi and West to Southampton, England. By
February 1938, there were 4 flying boats a week.
1940s flying from Dubai was by flying
boats operated by British Overseas Airways
Corporation (BOAC), operating the Horseshoe line from
Southern Africa via the Persian Gulf to Sydney.
A model of Dubai Airport as it looked
Construction of the airport was ordered by the ruler of Dubai,
Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum
1959. It officially opened in 1960 with its first airfield, at
which time it was able to handle aircraft the size of a Douglas DC-3
on a long runway
made of compacted sand. Three turning-areas,
and small terminal completed
the airport that was constructed by Costain
With the expansion of the Airport Fire Services it was necessary to
find more suitable accommodation and a hangar style building was
made available to them at the end of 1976. This was located midway
between the runway ends to facilitate efficient operations. A new
building was also constructed to house the Airport Maintenance
Engineer, Electronics Engineering section and Stores unit.Expansion
of the Airport Restaurant and Transit Lounge including the
refurbishing of the upper level and the provision of a new kitchen
was completed in December 1978.
In May 1963 construction of a asphalt runway started. This new
runway, alongside the original sand runway and taxiway
opened in May 1965, together with several
new extensions were added to the Terminal Building, hangars
erected, Airport and Navigational aids were installed.The
installation of the lighting
continued after official opening and was completed in
August of that year. During the second half of the 1960s several
extensions, equipment upgrades like a VHF omnidirectional range
and an instrument landing
(ILS) as well as new buildings were constructed. By
1969, the airport was served by 9 airlines serving some 20
The inauguration was on 15 May 1965 and was marked by the visits of
the first big jets of Middle East
and Kuwait Airways
The advent of wide body aircraft a need for further airport
development in the 1970’s which had already been foreseen by the
Ruler of Dubai and plans for a new Terminal, runways and taxiways
capable of coping with international flights.The construction of a
new terminal building consisting of a three storey building 110
metres long and included an enclosed floor area of 13,400 square
metres. A new 28 metre control tower was also constructed.
Expansion continued in the early 1970s including ILS Category II
equipment, lengthening existing runway to , installation of a
diesel generators, taxiways, etc. This work made handling the
possible. Several runway and apron
extensions were carried out through the decade to meet growing
The new precision category 2 Approach and Runway Lighting System
was commissioned. The construction of the Airport Fire Station and
the installation of the Generators were completed in December and
was fully operational in March 1972
.The ruler also commissioned and inaugurated the
Long-range Surveillance System on the 19 June 1973.
The next phase of development was the second runway, which was
completed three months ahead of schedule and opened in April 1984.
This runway, located 360 metres north of the existing runway and
parallel to it and is equipped with the latest meteorological,
airfield lighting and instrument landing systems to give the
airport a Category II classification.
A model of the airport in 1959
Also several extensions and upgrades of terminal facilities and
supporting systems were carried out. On 23 December 1980 the
airport became ordinary member of the Airports Council
1980s, Dubai was a stopping point for airlines such as Air India,
Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines,
Malaysia Airlines and others
travelling between Asia and Europe that needed
a refuelling point in the Persian Gulf.
This use was made redundant with the advent
of longer-range aircraft introduced in the late 1980s and early
1990s such as the Airbus A340
and the Boeing 777
series aircraft, which had the range
to fly between Europe and Southeast
Departures in Terminal 3
Arrivals in Terminal 3
Under the Dubai International Airport Masterplan, reassessment of
the runway system and development of the taxiways was done as phase
Phase 2 has a total investment of around $4.5 Billion, and
construction began in 2002. For phase 2 of the masterplan, a new
terminal building was constructed to accommodate the increasing
number of passengers, bringing the capacity of 33 million
passengers a year (with 30 million and 3 million of Terminal 1 and
2 respectively), to at least 60 million ( 27 Million) passengers
per year by the end of 2008. This was phase 2, the construction of
Terminal 3 and Concourse 2.
Also as part of phase 2, the airport will expand to handle at least
75 - 80 million ( 15 million) passengers per annum with the opening
of Concourse 3 which will be part of Terminal 3. However, recent
communications predict a further increase to 80 million passengers
with additional reassessments of existing capacities.
In addition, also part of the phase 2 development was the opening
of the Dubai Flower Centre. The airport saw the need for this as
the city is a flower hub for import and export of flowers and the
airport required a specialist facility since these products need
special conditions.Aprons and taxiways were also expanded and
strengthened. In addition, work on other taxiways in the area was
expanded in order to complete the work associated with the
re-commissioned second runway.
In 2009, Terminal 2 expanded its facilities to handle 5 million ( 2
million) passengers annually, taking the airport's total capacity
to 62 million passengers. The Department of Civil Aviation
also said that Terminal 2 will continuously be upgraded and
expanded to bring the total capacity of the airport from the
initial 75 million passengers to 80 million passenger capacity by
Construction of Terminal 3 began in 2004, with an estimated cost of
around $4.55 billion. Originally planned for completion in 2006,
the date was delayed by two years.On 30 May 2008, a topping out
ceremony for the terminal was conducted. The terminal became
operational on 14 October 2008, with Emirates Airline (EK2926) from
Arabia, being the first flight to arrive at the new
terminal, and EK843 to Doha, Qatar being the
first departing flight.
The terminal increases the airport's maximum passenger capacity
annually by 43 million, bringing the total annual capacity up to 60
With the arrival of the Airbus A380, the airport put into place
modifications works costing $230 million. These included the
building of 29 gates
handling the large aircraft, five of which are in Terminal 3, and 2
which are in Terminal 1. Other important projects at the airport
include the next stage of the phase 2 development, which includes
the construction of Concourse 3. This will be a smaller version of
Concourse 2, which is connected to Terminal 3. Construction has
already begun and is expected to be completed within two years,
with plans to open by late 2011.
The Cargo Mega Terminal, which will have the capacity to handle 3
million tonnes of cargo a year, is a major development; it is going
to be built in the long term. Completion for the Mega terminal is
expected to be no later than 2018. Terminal 2 will be completely
redeveloped to match the status of the other two terminals. With
all of these projects completed by 2012, the airport expects to
handle over at least 75-80 million passengers and over 5 million
tonnes of cargo.
The airport will also undergo an expansion to allow two stations of
the Red Line
of the Dubai Metro
to be built within the complex. One
station will be constructed in Terminal 1 and the other in Terminal
3. The line is expected to be fully operational on 9. September,
2009.The second Green Line
of the Dubai Metro will pass through the Airport free zone, which
will serve the Dubai Airport area, and the Terminal 2.The proposed 52
kilometers Purple Line will link Dubai International airport and
International Airport, which is currently being built at Jebel Ali].
The airport was built at a cost of some US$5.5 billion and can
handle over 62 million passengers and 2.1 million tonnes of cargo a
year and is expanding to accommodate over 80 million passengers by
2012. When the full expansion program will be completed by 2011,
the airport will have three terminals
and three concourses
, two cargo
terrminals, an airport free zone, an expo centre with three large
exhibition halls, a major aircraft
hub and a flower centre to handle perishable
government has announced the construction of a new airport in
Ali termed Al Maktoum International
Dubai International Airport Masterplan
||Initial Capacity of 11 million Passenger Per Annum. $540
million phase 1 launched.
||Terminal 2 Inaugurated on May 1 1998, to alleviate congestion
fromTerminal 1, with a capacity of 2.5 million passengers
||Sheikh Rashid Terminal - reopened 15 April, 2000. Capable of
handling 22 million passengers per annum
||$4.5bn ($545m for the civils on T3 and concourse projects)
||Taxiways were strengthened. In addition, work on other taxiways
in the area was expanded in order to complete the work associated
with the newly commissioned second runway.
||Construction of Dubai Flower Centre completed.
||US$225 million VIP Pavilion for the Dubai Royal Wing opens in
||Capable of handling 60 million Passengers per annum with the
opening of Terminal 3 - Concourse 2
||New Concourse 3 constructed, enabling the airport to have a
capacity of 75 million passengers, with further improvements 80
million is possible
||Capable of handling 3 million tons of freight per annum with
the construction of a part of Cargo Mega Terminal.
||Terminal 4 will be constructed.
||2004 - 2008
||Includes construction of Emirates Flight Catering Centre,
Emirates Engineering Facility.
||Opening of Emirates Engineering Facility - largest aircraft
hangars in the world.
||Opening of Emirates Flight
Catering Centre, capable of producing 115,000 meals per
||New Executive Flights Centre facility launched.
||Capable of handling 62 million passengers per annum with the
expansion and refurbishment of Terminal 2
It is expected upon completion to be the
fourth largest airport in the world by physical size, though not by
passenger metrics. It is expected to open in 2010, however
construction is expected to finish by the year 2017. On completion,
the airport is expected to be able to accommodate up to 160 million
passengers. There has been an official plan to build the Dubai
Metro Purple Line to connect Al Maktoum International Airport to
Dubai International Airport; construction is set to begin in 2012.
There have been rumours that the purple line is on hold, or even
Growth in traffic at Dubai International
||28.788 million (2006)
||1.410 million tonnes(2006)
||>215 (June 2006)
|Weekly scheduled flights
||>4,550 (June 2006)
Main airlines based at DXB
The Departures Hall in Terminal
- Emirates Airline is the largest airline
operating at the airport, with an all-wide-body fleet of over 130 Airbus and Boeing aircraft
based at Dubai, providing scheduled services to the Middle East, Africa,
Asia, Europe, North America, South
America, Australia and New Zealand. It operates exclusively from Terminal
- Emirates SkyCargo, a subsidiary of Emirates, operates scheduled
all-cargo services between Dubai and the rest of the world.
- Flydubai, a new low-cost
airline planning to operate over 50 aircraft on scheduled
passenger services to and from Dubai, to the Middle East, Africa,
Europe and South Asia. It operates from Terminal 2.
Recreational flying to Dubai is catered for by the Dubai Aviation
Club, which undertakes flying training for private pilots and
provides facilities for private owners.
The Government of Dubai provides short and long range search and rescue
support, medical evacuation
general purpose flights for the airport and all VIP flights to the
Arrivals at Terminal 3
Entrance to Concourse 2
Dubai International Airport was conceptualised to function as
Dubai's primary airport and the region's busiest for the
foreseeable future without the need for relocation or the building
of another airport when passenger figures increased. The area was chosen
near to Dubai, to attract
passengers from the city of Dubai, rather than travel to the busier
International Airport. The planned location originally was Jebel Ali.
The original master plan for the existing airport initially
involved a dual-terminal and one runway configuration over two
phases with provisions for another two passenger terminals in the
near future. Phase 1 included the construction for the first
passenger terminal, the first runway, 70 aircraft parking bays,
support facilities and structures, including a large maintenance
, the first fire station, workshops and
administrative offices, an airfreight complex, two cargo agents'
buildings, in-flight catering kitchens and a control tower
. Construction for the second
phase would commence immediately after the completion of Phase 1
and include the second runway, 50 new aircraft parking bays in
addition to the existing 70 bays, a second fire station and a third
cargo agent building.
The third phase included construction of a new terminal (now the
parts of Terminal 1's main building and Concourse 1) and an
additional 60 parking bays, as well as new aircraft maintenance
facility. then, in the early 2000s a new master plan was
The ATC tower and the connection
between Concourse 1 and 2
Air traffic control tower
The air traffic control
(ATC) was constructed as part of phase two of the then-development
Dubai International Airport has four terminals altogether. Terminal
1 has one concourse, Terminal 2 is set apart from the other two
main buildings and Terminal 3 is divided into Concourse 2 and 3.
The cargo terminal is capable of handling 3 million tonnes of cargo
annually and a general aviation
terminal (GAT) is located close by.
Dubai Airport currently has three passenger terminals. Terminals 1
and 3 are directly connected with a common transit area, with
airside passengers being able to move freely between the terminals
without going through immigration, whilst Terminal 2 is built on
the opposite end of the airport. For transiting passengers, a
shuttle service runs between the terminals, with a journey time of
around 20 minutes from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1, and 30 minutes to
Situated beside Terminal 2 is the Executive Flights Terminal, which
has its own check-in
facilities for premium
passengers and where transportation to aircraft in any of the other
terminals is by personal buggy.
All four terminals currently have a handling capacity of around 62
million passengers a year spread over an area of . Capacity will
rise again to at least 80 million passengers a year when expansion
works to Concourse 3 are complete by late 2011.
Terminals 1 and 3 cater to international passengers, whilst
Terminal 2 is for budget passengers and passengers flying to the
Sub-Continent and Persian Gulf region; Terminals 1 and 3 handle 90%
of the travellers; and the Executive Flights terminal are for the
higher end travellers and important guests.
Aircraft parked at Terminal 1 -
Terminal 1 has an overall capacity of 30 million passengers. It is
used by 75 airlines and is connected to Concourse 1, the so-called,
long Sheikh Rashid Terminal by an underground, long tunnel.
Terminal 1 offers 221 check in counters, with a separate section
and business class
In arrivals there are 40 passport control desks and 14 baggage claim
The Terminal was originally built to handle 21 million passengers,
however with the extreme over congestion at the terminal, the
airport was forced to expand the terminal to 30 million with the
opening of 28 remote gates, 9 million. Over the years, more mobile
gates were added to the airport.
- Concourse 1
Interior of Concourse 1
Concourse 1, part of Terminal 1, was opened in 2000 and it used to
be the main concourse at Dubai International before Concourse 2 in
Terminal 3 opened. It incorporates over 60 gates, including 32
and 28 remote gates located
at a lower level of the terminal. The gates are labelled 101 - 160
in Terminal 1.
The concourse includes over 25 food and beverage cafes and
restaurants. The Food Court is located on the Departures Level
, Round Table Pizza
, Le Matin Francais,
Bistro (Lebanese), Jashan (Indian) and Tansu Kitchen (Chinese and
).The concourse also
includes of retail space operated by Dubai Duty Free
. 5 transfer desks are
available for passengers in transit, and another desk at the
Arrival remote gate. Also located in the concourse is a 78 deluxe
5 star hotel
with 6 junior
suites and 2 royal suites, a business centre, a health club
, a duty-free
shopping facility. Other facilities
include prayer rooms, and a medical centre.Emirates continues to
maintain a presence in Concourse 1, operating 12 gates there as
well as the Emirates first
Class and Business
Class Lounges at the
Terminal. Other airline lounges include the Gulf Air
and the Star Alliance
have their own dedicated
Terminal 2 was built in 1998 and has a capacity of 5 million as of
2009, after several, decent reconstructions. It is mainly used by
smaller airlines operating in the Persian Gulf region. Most flights operate
to Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
The terminal was also being expanded as in
recent years it has become extremely congested and overcrowded,
used by approximately 26 airlines and offering 36 check in
In June 2009, Terminal 2 became the hub of Flydubai
Terminal 2 has undergone a major refurbishment recently, extending
check-in and boarding facilities, changing the interior and
exterior décor and offering more dining choices to passengers.
Capacity was increased to 5 million, 2 million.The terminal has now
increased the number of facilities available to passengers.
have increased to
36.The boarding area has been transformed into a more spacious
seating area, with more natural light. Also the new open boarding
gates allow several flights to board simultaneously, considerably
improving both passenger and aircraft movements.
The Dubai duty-free shopping area covers in departures and in
arrivals. The extension included a larger arrivals hall as
Entrance to Terminal 3
Departures in Terminal 3
Baggage claim area in Terminal 3
Terminal 3 was built at a cost of US$4.5 billion, exclusively for
Emirates and will have a capacity of 43 million passengers once
fully complete. The terminal will have 5 Airbus A380
gates at Concourse 2, and will have
18 at Concourse 3.
Terminal 3 is the largest building in the
by floor space, with over of space, currently capable of
handling 27 million passengers in a year. Once fully operational,
Terminal 3 will have an annual capacity of 43 million passengers. A
large part is located under the taxiway area and is directly
connected to Concourse 2: the departure and arrival halls in the
new structure are beneath the airport's apron. It is operational
since 14 October, 2008, opened in four phases to avoid collapse of
baggage handling and other IT systems.
Inside Terminal 3, there are 82 moving walkways, 97 escalators,
eight skytrains (4 each at Arrivals and Departures), 157 elevators,
and 27 truck lifts.
The building includes a multi level underground structure, first
class lounges, restaurants, 180 check-in counters
and 2,600 car-parking
spaces. The terminal offers more than double the previous retail
area of concourse 1, by adding about and Concourse 2's of shopping
The baggage handling system
- largest system and also the deepest in the world - has a capacity
to handle 8,000 bags per hour. The system includes 21 screening
injection points, 49 make-up carousals, 90 km of conveyor
belts capable of handling 15,000 items per hour at a speed of
27kmh, and 4,500 early baggage storage positions.
there are 126 check-in
counters for economy class
and 36 for first
class passengers. Also, there are 18 self
service kiosks, 3 lounges for unaccompanied minors, and 38 counters
and 12 e-gates for Economy class passengers and 10 counters and 4
e-gates for First & Business class at immigration
In arrivals, the terminal contains 52 immigration counters, 14
, and 12 e-gates
(Electronic Passport Control System) used at all entry point into
the United Arab Emirates. There is also 4 baggage carousels for
The total amount of retail areas is operated by Dubai Duty Free
. 3 Dubai Duty Free public
shops including a pharmacy, and the food court has a total area of
; There are 10 food outlets including: Costa
, Rupee Room, Delizie,
Mashawi Lebanese Grill, Japengo, Coffee
and Second Cup
The car park includes 1,870 car spaces, 163 car rental spaces, 44
Emirates bus spaces, a check-in hall for baggage with an area of ,
a mosque with an area and 18 check-in counters. The entire car park
has a total area of .
- Concourse 2
Terminal 3 - Concourse 2
Concourse 2 - Terminal 3
Concourse 2 is directly connected to terminal 3, and is a long
concourse that is dedicated exclusively to Emirates. The total
built up area of the concourse itself is . The concourse is long,
wide (at mid point) and high. The terminal has 10 floors (4
basement, Ground Floor, and 5 above floors). The building currently
includes a multi-level structure for departures and arrivals and
includes 26 gates, labelled 201 - 228 which include 59 passenger
loading bridges.It also includes 14 remote stands for Airbus A340
aircraft only. The remote gates have 5 boarding lounges.
For transit passengers the concourse has 3 transfer areas, and 62
The concourse also includes the Emirates first
class longes and the Marhaba lounge. The
First class lounge has a capacity of 800 passengers and a total
area of . The business class lounge has a capacity of 1200
passengers, and a total area of . The Marhaba lounge, the samllest
lounge at the concourse has a capacity of 140 passengers at a
The total retail area at the concourse is completely operated by
Dubai Duty Free
, and the food court
includes 16 restaurants including Burger
, pauls Coffee Shop,
, Wine Shop, Segafredo
, Good to Go, Pulp Juice Bar, Costa
.There is also 2 hotels in
the concourse. A 193 room and 14 suite 4 star hotel
, and a 38 room and 8
suite 5 star hotel
There is a direct connection to Sheikh Rashid Terminal (Concourse
1) located at the control tower structure through passenger
walkways. There is also a 300-room hotel and health club including
both five and four star rooms. Concourse 2 includes five
aerobridges that are capable of handling the new Airbus
A380.Emirates Airline continues to maintain a presence in Concourse
1, operaring 12 gates at the concourse as well as the Emirates
First Class and Business Class Lounges.
Concourse 3 underconstruction in July
The Concourse is set to open in late 2011
- Concourse 3
Concourse 3 will be connected to the two major public levels of
Terminal 3 via an automated people mover (APM) in addition to the
vehicular and baggage handling system utility tunnels for further
transfer. The building, which follows the characteristic shape of
Concourse 2, will be long, wide and high in the centre from the
apron level, and will accommodate 20 aircraft stands, in which 18
will be exclusively for the Airbus
, and 2 for the Boeing
The concourse will include one 4
and one 5 star
class lounges, and duty-free areas. The
total built-up area will be .Construction began in early 2008, and
is expected to be completed by late 2011, handling an additional 15
million passengers a year bringing the total terminals capcity to
43 million, and the entire airport's to over 80 million passengers
Planning has begun to bring on Terminal 4 at Dubai International
Airport, it was revealed on the day Emirates completed its phased
operations at the new Terminal 3, on 14 November 2008.
According to Dubai Airport officials plans for Terminal 4 had begun
and extensions would be made to Terminal 3.The CEO of the airport,
Paul Griffiths was reported to have said, that the airport
currently have 290 million dirhams
that will be spent over
the next two years on terminals 1, 2 and 3, making sure they are
running to full capacity. The airport is planning to service 70–80
million passengers a year by 2013.
The VIP pavilion, was exclusively built for the Dubai Royal Air Wing
and opened in
2005. The entire facility is 17,000m2 terminal, and includes a
Royal Majlis, and an antenna farm
also includes 8 aircraft hangars with a total built up area if
69,598m2 and maintenance hangars for Boeing
, and A380
aircraft and a 1200m2
gatehouse for VIP service.
Terminal 3 increased capacity at the
airport to 60 million passengers a year
The Excutive flights Terminal opened on November 19 2008, and
caters to all famous figures to sport stars, businessmen, as well
as large corporate entities.The terminal is located close to
Terminal 2, includes a 5,500-square-metre two-storey main building,
a 3,700-square-metre hangar, a 3,700-square metre ramp area for
aircraft parking, and a special VIP car park for long term parking.
The new facility makes EFC the largest dedicated business aviation
terminal in the Middle East.
The terminal also has its own dedicated immigration and customs
areas, a Dubai Duty Free outlet, a fully equipped
business/conference centre, eight luxury private lounges, and a
limousine service between the aircraft and the terminal. Passengers
arriving into the Terminal can also book for dedicated VIP
Cargo Mega Terminal
The cargo village at Dubai International Airport is one of the
world's largest and most central cargo hubs, with most of the cargo
for Asia and Africa coming through the facility. Forecasts in 2004
for cargo growth predicted that additional major cargo handling
facilities were needed to satisfy demands. Plans were put in
progress to construct the first stage of the cargo mega terminal,
which by 2018 will have the ability to handle three million tons of
freight.Phase 1 of the cargo mega terminal was completed by 2004
and the next phase of expansion was scheduled for completion in
late 2007. Prsently the airport hasa a cargo capacity of 2.1
million tonnes, and will be expanded to handle 3 million.
Aircraft taxiing to runway
Dubai airport believed it was necessary for the construction of a
flower centre to handle flower imports and exports, as Dubai is a
major hub for the import and export of flowers and the airport
required a specialist facility since these products need special
conditions. The flower centre's first phase was completed in 2004
at a cost of $50 million.
The flower centre is not yet finished and construction will
continue in another two phases. The centre will offer an enhanced
level of automation over a five to seven year period for processing
flower products. It will begin with a semi-automated system with
manual sorting before eventually becoming fully automated.
The centre when completed and functioning will have a floor area of
approximately 100,000m² including different export chambers and
offices. The handling capacity of the centre is expected to be more
than 300,000 tonnes of product throughput per annum. The entire
facility (with the exception of the offices) will be maintained at
an ambient temperature of just 2°C to 4°C.
Aerial shot of the airport showing
runway, taxiway and terminal layout
Dubai Airport has two parallel runways, both 4000m long. Runways,
12R/30L and 12L/30R, each wide. The runways are equipped with four
sets of ILS to guide landing
under very poor weather conditions. The runways were recently
expanded to accommodate the Airbus A380.In 2009, it was announced
that the airport installed a Category III landing
, allowing planes to land in low visibility conditions,
such as fog
. This system will be the first of its kind in
the United Arab
Due to increasing traffic, several runway expansions are
planned,The further expansion and the construction of Concourse 3
should increase this capacity to over 75 million passengers
annually.Taxiways were also strengthened as part of the phase 2
development. Although most think this is unnecessary. In addition,
work on other taxiways in the area was expanded in order to
complete the work associated with the newly commissioned second
Accommodating the Airbus A380
Dubai International will have 25 A380
capable gates by 2012, meaning they will be able to handle 25
A380's simultaneously - the largest A380 capable airport in the
With Dubai-based Emirates Airline being one of the launch customers
for the Airbus A380 and also the largest customer, Dubai airport
needed to expand its existing facilities to accommodate the very
large aircraft. The Department of Civil Aviation
spent $120 million in upgrading the two of its terminals and
airport infrastructure, including enlarged gate holdrooms, new
finger piers, enlarged runway, new airbridges and extended baggage
belt carousels from the normal .
Dubai airport is also investing $3.5 billion into a new Concourse
3, exclusively for handling Emirates Airline A380's. This is
expected to be completed by late 2012.
With these new carousels in place, the airport does not expect
embarking and disembarking passengers and baggage from the A380 to
take longer than it does for Boeing 747-400s, which carry
significantly fewer passengers. On 16 July 2008, Dubai Airport
unveiled the first of 2 specially-built gates capable of handling
the giant aircraft. Costing $10 million, the gates or 'fingers'
enable passengers to get on the upper cabin of the new 555-seater
aircraft directly from the gate hold rooms. The hold rooms
themselves have been enlarged and appointed to cater for the larger
number of passengers flying the A380s. Beside the 2 new gates at
Terminal 1, 5 more A380-capable gates were opened at concourse 3 on
14 October 2008.
The airport has over of space spread between its three main
terminals for shopping and eating outlets, with Terminal 3 having
the largest amount of retail space at 28,278 m2. The Dubai
duty-free shopping area in Terminal 2 covers 1,400 m2 (15,000 sq
ft) in departures and 50 m2 (540 sq ft) in arrivals. The 3,437 m2
(37,000 sq ft) extension included a larger arrivals hall as
Extensive upgrading work on existing retail areas since 2004 in
Terminals 1 and 2 has increased sales. Dubai Duty Free
announced annual sales of
Dhs3.95 billion (US$1.1 billion) in 2008, representing a 23 per
cent increase on the previous year.2008 saw the operation doubling
its retail space from 7,000 square metres to 15,000 square metres
with the inauguration of the new Emirates Terminal 3 in October
Duty Free outstrips other shopping malls in Dubai.
are particularly popular, accounting for over half of total retail
sales, followed by watches
products. The airport enjoys "one of the
highest concession revenues per passenger in the world" compared to
other major international airports. Dubai Duty Free recorded more
than 21 million transactions in 2008. As of August 2009,
Dubai Duty Free was the biggest single airport retail operation in
the world ahead of London Heathrow and Seoul Incheon airports.
According to Generation Research,
Dubai Duty Free accounts for 5% of the airport duty-free business
and 3% of the wider duty-free and travel-retail global
In addition to a wide array of duty-free shops and eating outlets,
Dubai Airport has two open-air garden areas. Dubai Airport has
numerous business centres located around the airport. Within the
international transit area of the interconnected Terminals 1 and 2,
internet and games facilities, prayer rooms, showers, spas, gym,
swimming pool and a 3 hotels are provided. Various lounge areas are
provided, some including children's play areas or televisions
showing news, movie and sport channels.
Emirates Flight Catering
Emirates Aircraft Hangars
Ground handling services at Dubai International Airport has been
provided by Dnata
Services.Services include cargo ramp and technical support services
to airlines at Dubai Airport.
Emirates Engineering, based in Dubai, operates the aircraft
maintenance and engine test cell technical facilities at the
airport. Emirates Engineering
currently provides full support for the Emirates Airline fleet and
all the other international operations at the airport.
Current facilities include:
- Seven aircraft hangars all capable of handling the A380
(currently the largest aircraft hangar in the world)
- Aircraft painting hangar
- Aircraft processing plant
- Aircraft engine run-up facility enclosure
- Engineering Line Maintenance facility
- Engine Test Cell
- Aircraft spare parts stores
Safety and security
E-gate counters, at Passport
The new system was introduced to make access into the UAE
The Civil Aviation Authority of Dubai manages the overall safety
and security of the airport. Pre-screening takes place in all
terminals at the entrance of the airport.
In 2005, an upgrade in screening technology and rising security
concerns led to luggage-screening processes being conducted behind
closed doors, as opposed to them being done just before check-in
previously within public view. Carry-on luggage and personal
screening are conducted at the individual departure gates, while
check-in luggage are screened in the backrooms and secured before
loading. Dubai Airport Police plans to introduce a biometric
identification system for access into restricted areas.
In view of the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, security screening
checks have been stepped up on passengers and their hand-carry
luggage, as well as checked-in luggage on flights bound for
destinations in the United Kingdom and the United States from
In early 2007, Dubai Airport introduced a new type of airport
screening device which not only detected weapons, but also could
screen the passenger for drugs in the blood. With the new system in
place, travellers entering Dubai can be jailed for 4 years or more
if found in possession (including in the bloodstream and the bottom
of the shoes) of illegal drugs (even in quantities as small as
0.001g), including poppy seeds
bagels and prescription and over-the-counter medicines such as
. A senior Dubai judge was quoted on
by the Dubai City News
saying, "These laws help discourage
anyone from carrying or using drugs. Even if the amount of illegal
drugs found on someone is 0.05 grams, they will be found guilty.
The penalty is a minimum four years. The message is clear — drugs
will not be tolerated." A number of travellers have been held
pending charge while Dubai authorities test their possessions,
blood and urine for any trace of contraband.
Dubai Duty Free in Terminal 3
As all passenger traffic out of the airport is international in
nature, the three major terminals in operation are equipped with
immigration-processing facilities for international travel.Since
there are international flights operating out from the airport
, the terminals of the airport are equipped
and security scanning for all passengers including domestic, and
regional passengers. Terminals 1, and 3 handle 95% of the
international flights, whilst Terminal 2 mainly caters to regional
flights and international flights routed to other airports in Iran
and Saudi Arabia. Emirates Airlines operate from only Terminal 3.
Conversely, low cost carries such as flydubai operate flights out
of terminal 2.
Passenger growth at the airport has been growing at an average rate
of 18%. The airport successfully reached its capacity of 33 million
passengers per annum by 2007, however this was still not enough to
handle the growing over congestion at the airport. As 2009 the
airport's capacity reached 62 million with the opening of Terminal
3 and expansion of Terminal 2.
In 2009 Dubai International Airport's passenger movements, growth
in traffic significally increased, hitting the 37 million passenger
mark in 2008.In the first nine months of 2009, the airport saw a
growth of 7.9% in in passenger traffic to 30,068,739 passengers
from January to September, compared with 27,852,332 in the same
period of 2008.The airport recorded an increase of 19.5 per cent in
passenger traffic in September, the highest monthly growth rate
since October 2007 when passenger numbers jumped 25.9 per cent. It
is also the fourth consecutive month of double-digit passenger
traffic growth in 2009. With an average monthly throughput of 3.2
million passengers so far this year, and expectations of a
sustained growth in traffic during the fourth quarter, Dubai
International is on track to break the 40 million passenger mark
projected for 2009.
Dubai Airport remains the only airport among the top 10 airports
worldwide in terms of international passenger to show positive
growth in every quarter this year.
Fueled by high economic growth from Emirates, the airport handled
1,824,991 tonnes of air cargo in 2008, an increase of 9.4% over the
2007 fiscal year, making it the 11th-busiest airfreight hub in the
world and the busiest in the Middle
The total freight handled between January and September in 2009
reached 1,366,880 tonnes compared to 1,361,358 tonnes in 2008, a
marginal increase of 0.4 per cent.
Terminals, airlines and destinations
The airport is connected by the road D 89
of the longest intra-city roads, D 89 begins at the Deira Corniche
and runs perpendicular to D 85 (Baniyas Road). From Deira, the road
progresses south-eastward towards Dubai International Airport,
intersecting with E 311 (Emirates Road) past the airport.
The airport is served by the Dubai Metro, which will operate 2
lines through the airport. The Red Line
has a station at Terminal 3,
and a station under construction at Terminal 1. The metro provides
services between 5 a.m. and 12.30 after midnight. The stations are
located in front of both terminals, and can be accessed directly
from the arrivals areas.The Green Line will operate from March,
2010, at another station in the Airport Free Zone.
Dubai Buses run by the RTA run a number of routes to around the
city but mainly Deira
, available at the
Airport Ground Transportation Center and the Arrivals.
Bus stations are situated opposite both Terminal 1, 2, and 3. Local
buses 4, 11, 15, 33 and 44 can be used to connect with Terminal 1
and 3, while bus 2 connects with Terminal 2. Dubai International
Airport Buses provide air-conditioned transport into the city
centre and over 80 hotels in the city.
service is available to major cities and towns is also available to
Ain, and Sharjah.
Transport Company Bus
Transport Company Bus
Transport Company Bus
The airport is served by the Government owned Dubai Taxi Agency,
which provides 24 hour service at the arrivals in every
Accidents and incidents
November 1974, British Airways
Flight 870, a Vickers VC10, from Dubai
to Heathrow, was hijacked in
Dubai, landing at Tripoli for refuelling before flying on to Tunis. One
hostage was murdered before the hijackers eventually surrendered
after 84 hours. Captain Jim Futcher was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal, the
Guild of Air
Pilots and Air Navigators Founders Medal, the British Air Line Pilots
Association Gold Medal and a Certificate of Commendation from
British Airways for his actions during the hijacking, having
returned to the aircraft to fly it knowing the hijackers were on
- On 3
July 1988, Iran Air
Flight 655, which was on a Tehran-Bandar Abbas-Dubai route, was shot down by USS Vincennes between Bandar
Abbas and Dubai. 290 people were killed in this
- On 28 July 2001, a man named Djamel
Beghal was arrested at Dubai International Airport while
transferring from a flight from Pakistan to a flight to Europe.
Beghal admitted to UAE interrogators that he was part of the
Paris embassy attack plot.
Al-Qaeda suspect was taken to France, where he
recanted parts of his statement. The plot was
dismantled by French, Belgian, and Dutch
- Part of the airport's Terminal 3 collapsed on 28 September 2004
during the construction phase.
- On 12 March 2007, the nose gear of
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Flight BG006 (LHR-DXB-DAC), an Airbus A310-300, collapsed while the aircraft
was accelerating down the runway. The plane was carrying 236
passengers and crew. Fourteen people suffered minor injuries in the
accident. The aircraft came to rest at the end of the runway and
was evacuated, but the accident crippled the only active runway and
forced the airport to close for eight hours, affecting 71
- Costain: Did you know? - item 27
- Official website on Airport History visited 4 August 2008
- Dubai Airport Terminal 3 launch date likely to be decided
- Concourse 3 to be completed by 2011
- New projects
- Dubai’s flying buttresses
- Dubai airport passengers top 37m
- Airports & Flights: Dubai Intl. Airport
- UAE: DUBAI AIRPORT TARGETS 25 MILLION PASSENGERS BY
YEAR END. - IPR Strategic Business Information Database.
Encyclopedia.com (2005-10-16). Retrieved on 2009-07-16.
- Dubai International Airport | dubai airport | intl airport
dubai | airport dubai | airport uae. Airport.ae. Retrieved on
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Technology. Retrieved on 2009-07-16.
- Dubai International Airport. Dubaiairport.com.
Retrieved on 2009-07-16.
- The apron area around the new concourse 2 was
upgraded in a project completed in 2003; this new strengthened area
provides for 27 wide-bodied aircraft stands. - Image - Dubai
International Airport (DXB/OMDB). Airport-technology.com.
Retrieved on 2009-07-16.
- Dubai flower hub could be a thorn for the Dutch.
(21-OCT-05) Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. Accessmylibrary.com
(2005-10-21). Retrieved on 2009-07-16.
- Dubai Airport Terminal 3 launch date likely to be decided
in August. Gulfnews (2008-07-22). Retrieved on 2009-07-16.
- Gulfnews: Aiming for 3m tonnes by 2018.
Archive.gulfnews.com (2008-05-19). Retrieved on 2009-07-16.
- Emirates Engineering. The Emirates Group.
Retrieved on 2009-07-16.
- Emirates Flight Catering. The Emirates Group.
Retrieved on 2009-07-16.
- Dubai Airports launches new facility for Executive Flights
Centre | Dubai Airports. Ameinfo.com (2007-02-26). Retrieved on
- Dubai Airport Dubai's Terminal 2 gets makeover.
Gulfnews. Retrieved on 2009-07-16.
- Dubai Airport
- flydubai to fly from Terminal 2
- The $ 4.5 billion expansion nears
- Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3 is immense and
- Dubai Airports' CEO, Paul Griffiths, takes us on a
tour of the new terminal at the world's fastest growing
- eGate Card for Dubai & Abu Dhabi
- Dubai plans Terminal 4
- Dubai Airports launches new facility for Executive
- Dubai airport guide - security
- Daily Mail: Briton jailed for four years in Dubai
after customs find cannabis weighing less than a grain of sugar
under his shoe
- flydubai reveals Terminal 2 launch
- Flight International 20-26 March