Process & Governance

Dubai Airports’ focus on streamlining and adopting a corporate approach to all business and support processes continues to pay dividends, transforming the organisation into a leaner and more customer-focused business.

With exponential growth experienced at both our airports, Dubai Airports has again demonstrated its ability to do more with the same resources by adopting industry best practice together with an innovative management approach.

This more efficient and effective approach to managing the business has resulted in a better service to both internal and external customers as well as driven down costs. By introducing effective business processes and systems, Dubai Airports is able to make more responsive and effective management decisions which have a direct impact on the performance of the business.

Together with strong revenue and passenger growth, Dubai Airports made a positive contribution to the Dubai Government as well as the economic prosperity of Dubai during 2013.

In the year ahead Dubai Airports will continue to focus on streamlining its business and ensuring that the processes and organisational support services are in place to allow Dubai Airports to fully benefit from the rapid growth expected over the next few years.

Corporate process

In 2011 Dubai Airports set up a Corporate Portfolio Office to guide investments decisions and project delivery across the organisation. Since then Dubai Airports has matured the management of its portfolio through the definition and introduction of its three master programmes which include business improvement, the SP2020 expansion plan and corporate development.

This has allowed Dubai Airports to make a more informed investment decision on various projects and, once approved, ensure they are being delivered in a timely and co-ordinated manner as well as being aligned to the corporate vision for Dubai Airports.

In 2013 the three master programmes each focused on the following:

  • The $7.8bn SP2020 master programme comprises a series of airspace, airfield, stand and terminal capacity related projects at Dubai International.

  • The Corporate Development Master Programme has been established to manage and realise the corporate transformation across people, processes and technology, ensuring that any investment of our finite resources delivers tangible results to our business as usual performance. In 2013 these included the development of the Airport Operating Centre and projects addressing information technology smart solutions and ICT infrastructure, management information, customer service and people development. All these projects were put in place in 2013 and will continue into 2014.

  • The Business Improvement Master Programme has been established to deliver short to medium term projects that provide commercial, service or safety benefits to Dubai Airports.


ICT – Planning for the future

Dubai Airports continues to roll out several initiatives that will help the organisation better manage its surging growth and enhance service by providing rapid connectivity across a single, unified IT network.
The development of a Campus Area Network, which will provide employees and stakeholders with a single IT communication backbone across the entire airport allowing easier access to the network and better connectivity among users, continued to progress steadily during the past year. Expected to be fully implemented during 2015, the Campus Area Network will provide a robust and scalable system ideally suited to a dynamic and rapidly growing business.

IT systems also play a vital role in the building of a new Airport Operating Centre (AOC), which got underway at Dubai International during the year under review. The new AOC will enable Dubai Airports and its stakeholders to better manage the growing and increasingly complex airport operation across two airports and provide a more responsive service to all its stakeholders and passengers.

Vital to the effective functioning of the new AOC is a centralised airport operating system that will combine all IT systems across the airport campus and stakeholders into a single, robust system that will put all the required information at airport management’s fingertips. The system will make it far easier for Dubai Airports and its stakeholders to make informed and responsive decisions, be it on the airfield or in the terminals. With more than 180,000 passengers travelling through Dubai International every day the ability to react quickly to each situation is vital.

“With more than 180,000 passengers travelling through Dubai International every day the ability to react quickly to each situation is vital.”

Dubai Airports has gone out to market with a request for information for suppliers to build and manage the new operating system. At the same time work continues apace in installing the required IT infrastructure in the new AOC building.

Meanwhile, Dubai Airports established new realtime links with home airlines flydubai and Emirates airline, key data that allow for better management of the airport operation.


As the airport continues to expand, Dubai Airports has successfully faced an increasingly complex procurement programme while still safeguarding quality and keeping costs under control.

The number of purchase orders issued totalled AED700 million during 2013. Yet through proactive negotiations on new purchases, the organisation managed to save AED5 million while reducing costs by about AED130 million through contract and tender negotiations for existing orders.


During 2013 overall revenue climbed 17 per cent, boosted by double-digit growth in passenger numbers and strong non-aeronautical revenue growth. The addition of the world-class Concourse A early in the year also provided a positive contribution to the top line.

“Overall passenger traffic growth of 15.3 per cent helped lift aeronautical revenue 12 per cent while non-aeronautical climbed strongly, rising 23 per cent over 2012.”

Overall passenger traffic growth of 15.3 per cent helped lift aeronautical revenue 12 per cent while non-aeronautical climbed strongly, rising 23 per cent over 2012. This solid performance in non-aeronautical revenue, which outstripped growth of overall passenger numbers, was boosted by a range of commercial activities including retail and advertising which helped lift average revenue per passenger significantly.

Dubai Airports’ strong growth during the year, twinned with our vigilant management of costs within the business has resulted in an improved contribution to the Government of Dubai during 2013. (for details see revenue)



Dubai Airports’ legal unit plays a vital role in protecting and safeguarding Dubai Airports, its employees, management and stakeholders by identifying and mitigating any legal risk facing the business or it operations.

The unit is responsible for reviewing and redrafting of contracts, agreements of various types and organisational policies to ensure they meet all Dubai Airports’ requirements as well as adhere to all local and federal laws. The unit also provides legal advice, recommendations and consultations for all business units across the organisation.

During 2013, the unit provided an immeasurable benefit in safeguarding and protecting Dubai Airports’ reputation and interests as well as providing a more efficient operating environment for business units across the organisation.

Quality assurance

As part of its drive to greater efficiency and effective management, Dubai Airports, through its Integrated Business Process Management Framework, continues to review all corporate processes to ensure they are properly mapped across each and every department and system. In 2013, more than 85 per cent of all operational processes were documented.

This has given the organisation a better overview of all processes and enabled the organisation to manage new or amended processes and ensure they fit into the organisation’s broader process matrix. The framework prevents the introduction of new bottlenecks along the process chain, allowing the implementation of seamless and effective processes that enable senior management to make efficient and effective decisions with a direct benefit on the operational and financial performance of Dubai Airports. The tool also identifies the complexity and feasibility of implementing any changes or additions to corporate processes.

During the year, Dubai Airports conducted a number of internal reviews to ensure that the organisation’s numerous divisions maintain the high standards and adherence to its aerodrome manual, a document that prescribes the airport’s operating procedures and standards. Meeting the manual’s requirements is vital to the safety and proper functioning of the airport.

Risk management

With airports being such dynamic environments, it is only appropriate Dubai Airports regularly identifies key risks across the organisation and puts in place plans to mitigate those risks.

Dubai Airports regularly updates the risk management register, its centralised information model allowing each business unit to handle its risks independently while providing management with a consolidated corporate risk register.

To ensure that Dubai Airports continues to benchmark itself against global best practice, all risk management employees have been accredited as certified risk management assurance professionals by the Institute of Internal Audit – USA while Dubai Airports is now a certified lead trainer for ISO 31000, an international standard which provides guidelines on world-class risk management practices.