Preparations for the busiest day of the year, at the busiest airport in the world
Of the expectations, Eugene Barry, EVP Commercial, Dubai Airports said, “We are about to face the busiest days of the year here at Dubai International. It is predicted that 28 June is going to be the first of our busy days during the summer holiday. The weekend of the 5 to 8 July is anticipated to be a busier time as the majority of local schools are breaking up for the summer. We expect during those few days to welcome over 1.1m travellers.”
In order to handle that many passengers in such a concentrated period, departments across the airport began preparations many weeks ago, learning from previous years and a wealth of experience.
Talking of the specific changes being implemented in the passenger facing areas Essa Al Shamsi, VP Terminal Operations, Dubai Airports said, “Preparations within the airport for the upcoming peak have been ongoing for the past couple of weeks. The entire operations team has been working closely with all our service partners to ensure a seamless journey for customers, from the moment they arrive at DXB to the moment they leave. For those travelling in the next few days, we would advise passengers to get to the airport early and encourage them to use the latest technologies we recently added, like the Smart Gates, to expedite their journey.”
Behind the scenes is equally as important, especially with that many people checking in, travelling through and arriving, all with luggage. Director of Baggage Service Delivery at Dubai Airports, John Dyett, commented on how well equipped the facilities are at DXB to manage the influx; “Here at Dubai International we have three distinct baggage systems in the terminals, their combined length is around 175km of baggage system. This has the capacity to handle around 25,000 bags in a single hour.”
Once through the formalities, the departures area of DXB has enough to keep everyone happy, even for that extra hour or two factored in to avoid the rush.
Eugene Barry continued, “All of Dubai International’s restaurants, duty free shops, and other services like foreign exchange and pharmacies are open 24 hours. There are more than 150 food outlets across the airport, and lots of great brand options for gifts and travel essentials.
Our landscape is changing all the time. H&M are now open in Concourse B, and we recently opened several new food concepts - Tranzeet which is an all-American diner with a local twist, an Emirati coffeehouse called S34 and a multi-brand restaurant called The Daily DXB with food from around the world, all of which are proving very popular with customers. For young travellers, or young at heart, the Bounce trampoline park is a great place to exert some energy before jumping on a plane.”
He concluded, “The message to anyone travelling over the busy time is simple: plan your journey, arrive to the airport early and make the maximum use of your time here before you depart from DXB this year. And as a final top tip grab a copy of our exclusive airport magazine, Time Out DXB, and use the special vouchers on restaurants at the airport.”