Dubai International’s Terminal 3: a new era in air travel

The $ 4.5 billion expansion nears completion

by Laura Salmi 23 October 2008
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    Phase Two has been launched at Terminal 3: the phased opening of the terminal is aimed at bringing the facility online gradually to ensure the convenience and comfort of customers.

    Aéroports de Paris International were the project design consultants for Terminal 3 and produced an innovative and ground-breaking design in the shape of an airplane wing. Design group Dar Al-Handasah Consultants were contracted to design the concourse 3 part of the project.

    The new shimmering facilities cover a built-up area of 515,000 sq mt and are solely dedicated to Emirates Airline. Located 20 mt beneath the taxiway area, the spacious multi-level environment caters for easy passenger flow and decreased walking thanks to its 157 elevators, 97 escalators and 82 moving walkways. Since Terminal 3 is underground, the baggage handling system is the deepest the largest of its kind in the world with 90 km of baggage belts handling around 15,000 items per hour, at a possible 7.5 metres per second with 800 RFID read/write stations for 100% accurate tracking.

    For the pleasure of travellers, the terminal offers designer lounges, 252 check-in counters, 8,000 sq mt of retail space, parking for 1,870 vehicles, business centres, dining courts, gyms and spas.

    The mega-project required the excavation of over 10 million cubic metres of earth (enough to fill 4,000 Olympic-size swimming pools), the use of 2.4 million cubic metres of concrete, (enough to fill 950 Olympic-size swimming pools), and as much as 450,000 tonnes of steel for reinforcement and another 33,000 tonnes for the structure.

    Currently handling 22 million passengers a year, Dubai International expects to increase to 60 million passengers by 2012. It is strange to believe that while this multi-billion dollar investment expansion nears completion, work is already in progress on a project to build the world’s largest airport barely 40 km away. Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International will have the capacity to cater to 120 million passengers annually and handle 12 million tonnes of cargo at its 16 air cargo terminals.

    Laura Salmi

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