His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Wednesday inspected the new Emirates’ Airbus A380 Concourse 3, the world’s first dedicated facility at Dubai International Airport that is home to the airline’s growing fleet of super jumbos. It features dedicated first and business class lounges.
Accompanying Sheikh Mohammed on the tour were Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group.
They toured various sections of Concourse 3 which is scheduled to receive its first flight in January.
Sheikh Mohammed began his tour with the new ‘Free Market’ which includes several malls for retail business spread over a total area of more than 1200 square metres.
During his one-hour visit, Sheikh Mohammed toured the Airbus 380-designated gates for lining up aircraft, equipped with load bridges for passengers to move between aircraft and terminal and six other gates dedicated to serving aircraft parked away from the terminal. He also toured the luxury first-class and businessmen’s lounges, which have been equipped to the latest global standards.
Sheikh Majed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, Dr. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Reem Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State, Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, Lt. General Musabbeh Rashid Al Fattan, Director of the Office of the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director General of Dubai Protocol and Guests, and Mohammed Juma Al Naboodah also accompanied the Vice President.
Sheikh Mohammed was briefed by Khalifa Al Zafeen, CEO of Dubai Aviation City, on this huge project and its components. Concourse 3 is 650 metres in length and 90 metres in width and covers a total area of 530,000 metres with 11 stories, four of them underground. There are automated passenger transport points for arrivals and departures.
Concourse 3 has five-star and four-star hotels, a mall with 40 counters to follow flights and airlines. It also has an internal metro that carries passengers to and from Terminal 3, which is dedicated for Emirates airline, and Terminal 2 with a capacity of 19 million passengers annually. Overall, Concourse 2 and 3 will have a capacity of 43 million passengers annually.
Visitors and residents of many nationalities coming to the UAE through Terminal 3 welcomed Sheikh Mohammed as he toured the arrivals hall and inspected work on the counters. Sheikh Mohammed also rode on the metro to Burj Khalifa, passing through several stations where some of Dubai’s attractions were displayed.
Sheikh Mohammed expressed his pride about the Dubai Metro which he described as ”the project of the century.” His last stop was the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, from whose metro station he and his entourage walked to the adjacent mall through the 820-metre walkway, built by Emaar Property at a total cost of Dh120 million.
Sheikh Mohammed then had coffee at one of the outlets in the mall where he was greeted by a large number of people.
World’s most-visited boulevard in Dubai named ‘Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard’
The 3.5-kilometre high street, previously called Emaar Boulevard, which connects the destination’s numerous shopping, hospitality, entertainment and dining attractions, welcomed more visitors last year than New York (51 million) and even Los Angeles (27 million).
Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “By renaming Emaar Boulevard as Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard we are paying tribute to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who is the driving force of the city’s transformation into the world’s newest hub for hospitality, tourism, retail and trade”.