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Dubai Airports calls for volunteers as it tests new Dhs 1.9bn Concourse D 


Dubai Airports calls for volunteers as it tests new Dhs 1.9bn Concourse D 


The new facility, anticipated to open this year, will have the capacity to handle 18 million passengers annually

Dubai Airports is gearing up to open its new Dhs 1.9bn Concourse D in Dubai International and has called for volunteers from the public to help test the operational readiness of the new facility.

The test on February 6 follows a series of “rigorous trials” that were conducted over the past few months, Dubai Airports said in a statement.

The trial will test systems and processes across the facility as well as staff preparedness by simulating typical airport operating scenarios.

As part of the trial some 2,500 volunteers including men, women, children and senior citizens will play the role of passengers travelling to different destinations, arriving, departing and transiting through the facility.

They will test access, traffic flow, way-finding signage and other aspects such as police, immigration and customs counters and retail and food and beverage concessionaires.

“As the final element of the $7.8bn 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 Dubai Airports chief executive officer Paul Griffiths.

“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,” he added.

Expected to open in the first quarter of this year, Concourse D will be spread across 150,000 square metres and have the capacity to handle 18 million passengers per year. It will feature 21 contact stands – of which four will be able to accommodate Airbus A380 or Boeing 747 aircraft – and 11 remote stands. More than 70 airlines are anticipated to use the facility.

It will be linked to Terminal 1 via an elevated rail system consisting of five carriages with a capacity of 300 passengers.

The facility will also feature open gates allowing travellers to board directly from the waiting area.

Concourse D will have nine lounges spread over 6,926 sqm, 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 8400 sqm.

Food and beverage outlets include a casual dining concept offering dishes from celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, the first Pret a Manger in a Middle East airport, the region’s first Camden Food Company outlet and a CNN News Cafe among others.

The new concourse will also offer SnoozeCubes to allow passengers to rest between flights.

Dubai International is currently the busiest airport in the world for international passenger traffic and welcomed 70.96 million visitors in the first 11 months of 2015. Average monthly traffic stood at 6.5 million passengers last year, officials confirmed.

The emirate is hoping to attract 126 million passengers per year by 2020 and around 200 million passengers annually by 2030.

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