Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest airport for international travel, has increased its annual capacity from 75 million to 90 million passengers with the opening of its new extension, Concourse D, at the end of February.
Concourse D is the result of a US$ 1.2 billion investment to enhance service and boost capacity for more than 70 international airlines that will now call it home. Designed around a central atrium, the concourse is linked to the newly renovated Terminal 1 by an airport train that can transport 300 passengers per trip.
The new concourse also offers shorter walking distances from the waiting area, more comfortable seating areas and nine lounges. An array of tempting food and beverage outlets is also available, the including world-renowned The Kitchen, Butlers Chocolate Café and Camden Food Company. Meanwhile, the CNN News Café will be a mainstay for those who want to remain connected with the world over a cup of coffee.
At the same time, Dubai Duty Free will also boast 175 vendor installations spread over an area of 7,000 square metres to satisfy travellers’ shopping needs.
British Airways and Royal Jordanian were the first two airlines to use the new concourse, with other carriers phasing in operations during the few weeks after it opened. The concourse will also be able to accommodate double-decker Airbus A380 or Boeing 747 aircraft.
In 2015, Dubai International Airport saw a 10 per cent increase in passenger traffic to 78 million passengers. The number surpassed Britain’s Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport for international travellers passing through in 2014.
“Today, we also announce our 2016 forecast which projects that 85 million passengers will visit Dubai International this year. With the addition of Concourse D, Dubai International is getting both bigger and better,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
However, in terms of actual numbers, Dubai Airport still lingers behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the US, which handled more than 100 million passengers in 2015.
Image courtesy of Dubai International Airport