The countdown to the opening of Dubai International’s AED1.9 billion Concourse D has begun as operator Dubai Airports has invited members of the public to volunteer as ‘passengers’ and help test the operational readiness of the new facility on February 6.
The advanced trial follows a series of rigorous trials that were conducted over the past few months to test different components of the facility to ensure a smooth start up and optimal service levels for passengers and more than 70 airlines that will use the facility.
The trial is designed to test the systems and processes across the facility, as well as staff preparedness by simulating typical airport operating scenarios. As part of trial some 2,500 volunteers – men, women, children and senior citizens will play the role of passengers travelling to different destinations, arriving, departing, and transiting through the facility in order to test access, traffic flow, way-finding signage, and other scenarios specific to the airport’s many strategic partners, such as police, immigration and customs, as well as food and beverage and retail concessionaires. The operational trials are designed to simulate a ‘live’ environment and help Dubai Airports test facilities, processes and staff capability ultimately paving the way to a successful opening and smooth entry into operations.
“As the final element of the $7.8 billion Strategic Plan 2020 that we had announced in 2011, Concourse D is a crucial and timely addition to Dubai International as it will increase the airport’s capacity to 90 million passengers,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
“Our approach with launching new facilities has always been to test, test and test again until we are confident our passengers and airlines will receive the highest service levels upon opening. Residents of Dubai and the UAE have an opportunity to help us achieve this goal while being part of Dubai’s aviation history. If our past experiences with operational trials are anything to go by, we expect an overwhelming response from the members of the public,” Griffiths added.
The emphasis in Concourse D is to create a more efficient and intuitive customer experience with short walks to connect passengers with their aircraft. The facility will feature open gates allowing travelers to board directly from the waiting area, giving them more freedom and time to enjoy the full complement of exciting food and beverage outlets - including a casual dining concept offering dishes from celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, the first Pret a Manger in a Middle East airport as well as the region’s first Camden Food Company outlet, and CNN News Cafe among others.
The new concourse will also offer plenty of comfortable seating spaces as well as the ever-popular SnoozeCubes which provide a convenient way to rest between flights. Concourse D will feature a total of nine lounges spread over 6,926m2, including five airline lounges, a new Al Majlis lounge, two Dubai International Hotel lounges and a Marhaba VIP lounge. The retail area will be spread over 8400m2.
The concourse will feature 21 contact stands, of which four will be able to accommodate Airbus A380 or Boeing 747 aircraft, and 11 remote stands.