Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport provides air service to the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and the entire Middle East through connecting flights. The airport, with an airport code of DXB, continues a rapid growth providing services to more than 50 million passengers each year. Dubai is also served by Al Maktoum International Airport that is adding passenger services to its current cargo operations.
History of Dubai International Airport
Air service began at Dubai in 1937 with British Overseas Airways Corporation flying boats. The early routes were extremely long distance connecting Europe to Dubai, South Africa and Australia. By 1960, operations converted to more standard land-based aircraft utilizing the current airport. Since then, passenger and flight numbers have continued to grow and the airport has undergone almost continual expansion.
Features of the Airport
The airport is configured with three passenger terminals and one cargo terminal. International flights commonly utilize Terminals 1 or 3, depending on the carrier. Terminal 2 serves domestic and regional flights as well as budget airlines. Recent passenger terminal expansions have included modifications necessary for passenger access to the Airbus 380. Passengers moving between the terminals utilize shuttle bus services. The airport stated capacity is about 60 million passengers with plans to expand to 90 million passengers to keep up with anticipated growth.
Private and corporate air passengers have a separate terminal. The Dubai Executive Flight Terminal is the largest VIP terminal in the region and among the largest in the world. This terminal offers the 25,000 passengers that pass through it each year additional amenities and security not found in the normal flow of passengers in the standard terminals. The facility is configured to handle aircraft from small jets to Boeing 747s.
Cargo is a major component of the operations at Dubai International Airport. The airport’s current stated capacity is more than 2 million tons per year with planned increases to 3 million tons. This ranks it high in airfreight capacity. The airport offers a number of specialty facilities including one of the few ground facilities dedicated to the floral industry. The “flower center” will handle inbound fresh flowers used in homes and the hospitality industry in the United Arab Emirates. Other specialty cargo handling capabilities include fresh meats, live animals, and explosives.
Dubai International Airport includes extensive aircraft maintenance facilities including multiple hangar spaces for the largest aircraft in the world. The facility also includes a hangar specially equipped for applying exterior paint to commercial jets as well as more standard repair and maintenance work spaces.
Two parallel runways provide flight services for Dubai International Airport. Both are capable of providing landing and takeoff space for any size aircraft currently flying. Runways are both lit and include the most current instrument landing system allowing flight operations to continue during low visibility conditions.
Security at Dubai International Airport can include drug screenings as well as searches of baggage and cargo. Anyone found to possess drugs or have drugs in their system at the airport could be found guilty and sentenced to a minimum of four years in prison. The airport also screens for weapons and explosives. Special security screening processes are in place for passengers bound for the United States and England.
Airlines Serving Dubai
Of the five airlines that use Dubai International Airport as a hub, Emirates Airlines is the largest. The Emirates hub in Dubai is also the largest hub of any airport in the Middle East, and the airline is responsible for 60 percent of air traffic from the airport. It is also responsible for 38 percent of all aircraft movements at the facility. The airline’s operations at Dubai International Airport are so massive that it is the exclusive operator at terminal 3, which was constructed in 2008. Emirates flies passengers to a large number of destinations from Dubai. These destinations include Abidjan, Auckland, Baghdad, Cairo, Copenhagen, Dublin, Houston, Johannesburg, Karachi, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rome, Sydney, Vienna, Warsaw and many more.
Flydubai also has an important presence at Dubai International Airport. The airline, which is based in Dubai, uses the airport as a hub for its operations. Passengers can use this low-cost carrier to reach a wide range of destinations including Addis Ababa, Aleppo, Baghdad, Damascus, Istanbul, Kabul, Kuwait, Muscat, Tabuk Yerevan and more.
Qantas Airlines is based in Australia, and it uses Dubai International Airport as a hub for its European operations. The airline, which has a partnership with Emirates Airlines, offers service from Dubai to London’s Heathrow Airport, and it offers flights to Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, as well. Qantas is distinguished at the airport for its usage of the massive Airbus A380 aircraft.
Many American passengers prefer to use Delta Airlines from Dubai International Airport. The Airline offers non-stop flights to Atlanta, Georgia, from Dubai. American passengers can also use United Airlines to reach Washington Dulles Airport. Passengers should be aware that United Airlines is not to be confused with the similarly-named United Airways, which is based in Bangladesh and offers flights to Dhaka.
Passengers who are interested in exploring Iran often use Iran Aseman Airlines from Dubai International Airport. The airline offers flights to a number of destinations including Abadan, Gheshm, Lar, Shiraz, and Zahedan. Passengers flying to Iran can also use Iran Air, which offers flights to Bandar Abbas, Isfahan, Tehran-Imam Khomeini, and Shiraz.
Ural Airlines is quite popular for passengers flying to a number of Russian locales from Dubai. The airline operates out of Terminal 1, and it offers flights to Kazan, Krasnodar, Vody, Novosibirsk, Ufa, Yekaterinburg and more. Ural Airlines is known for using Airbus aircraft for its flights. Passengers who fly on Ural Airlines from Dubai can expect to fly in a craft from the Airbus 320 family of planes.