Photo gallery: Dubai's new A380 terminal for Emirates, Qantas

By David Flynn, January 3 2013
Photo gallery: Dubai's new A380 terminal for Emirates, Qantas

The Airbus A380s of Emirates and soon-to-be-partner Qantas have a new home in Dubai with this week's opening of a bespoke concourse built for the double-deck superjumbos.

Reportedly the world's first such facility, the Concourse A extension to Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport (DXB) features 20 gates specifically designed to accommodate the A380 with boarding gates feeding directly into the aircraft's upper and main decks.

This week's opening of Concourse A saw just four of these gates in use, "with more gates coming online in each successive phase" explained Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

"We believe that this approach of gradual transition will enable us and all our partners to ensure smooth operations and help us to deliver on our customer service commitment."

Concourse A, which cost $US3 billion ($A2.85 billion) to build, is exclusively used by Emirates and will also provide the stopover for Qantas' A380s to London via Dubai pending final ACCC approval of the Qantas-Emirates alliance, following tentative approval being granted late last year.

Read: What the Qantas-Emirates alliance means for London and UK travel

Inside Dubai Airport's new Concourse A, Terminal 3

The new concourse spreads across a total area of 528,000 square metres and is ringed by a dual-tracked 'Skytrain' light railway to move passengers around the facility.

The Skytain gates shown below also include 'Skylift' elevators for access to the terminal's 11 floors.

This mini-lounge at the boarding gate is where Emirates' business class passengers will cool their heels before stepping onto their A380.

An operational test of the concourse involving over 1,100 people, including senior citizens and individuals with special needs, was held in mid-December.

The volunteers played the role of passengers arriving at, departing from and transiting through Concourse A, testing way-finding signage and the flow of passenger traffic within the new building and between it and Terminal 3 via the airport train. Many of the new retail and food & beverage outlets also formed part of the trial.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

QFF Gold QC gold

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 56

I have heard a lot of bad reviews of Dubai Airport. I wonder if this will help given they will have more facilities. I heard lack of toilets and seating has been an issue so you would think the expansion will help. Can't wait to see it!

09 Nov 2011

Total posts 88

It would have to be vastly improved to overcome the horrid reviews that are all over the Internet. I have endured DXB once too often. I will never return to that Airport or country. If the UAE want to promote tourism and attract visitors, they don't have a hope in hell with their current attitude and distain for anyone else but themselves.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 580

I last flew Emirates (in Economy) and via DXB four years ago and the experience wasn't terrible. Though EK has grown significantly since then. However, if you you're not fortunate to have lounge access then if you're willing to research a bit you can find where to shower and get a bed to improve the transit experience in Emirates' DXB terminal.

I'm sure there are similar facilities in the other terminals.

10 Jun 2011

Total posts 56

The new terminal should definitely help to alleviate the severe congestion and overcrowding Dubai airport currently suffers from.   It should also help reduce the number of flights that have to use remote stands and bus people into the terminal

The challenge is EK is growing at a much fast rate than the airport can cope with.  EK had 5 new aircraft delivered in December alone.  The have only received about 1/3 of their A380's they still have another 50 or so to come, along with all their new 777s and A350s

The airport is huge and looks impressive, but on the inside it has been very poorly designed, space is very badly used, the focus is on shopping, there is lack of seating, lack of toilets (also not clean), lack of places to eat.  There was no thought put into the airport experience that you find in Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul

There are transit hotels where you can go and get a room of have a shower - the rooms are not cheap.  The lounges suffer overcrowding at busy times and it is a big issue for EK.

If transferring from A380 to A380 it should be a more pleasant experience

06 Jan 2013

Total posts 9

The large majority of the passengers passing through Dubai Airport are transit passengers who choose to use the airport even though they have plenty of other options. The number of people choosing to use Dubai Airport would not have shown the exceptional growth it has shown over the past two decades if the ``horrid reviews'' represented the mainstream views of the majority of travellers.

Beautiful terminal, BTW !

Skywards Gold

21 Apr 2011

Total posts 54

Just flew back from Concourse A. The train already looks dated with stained carpets. The business class lounge isn't open yet so everyone is being sent to the first class lounge whcih would be nice except the spa isn't even open yet. The a la carte dining was average - the paper menu was torn, the food took a while to arrive and was cold. It does look nice however they have made the same mistake of having the open wasted space in the middle of the lounges. I could see them unwrapping the lamps at the business lounge which is one level above the first.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1379

So is it a mini-lounge (per story) or actual lounges (per poster jetsetter)

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 2

flying to Dubai tomorrow and on to Washington DC on the A380 so looking forward to seeing what the new concourse is like


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