Dubai Airports prides itself on its world class facilities that offer both our stakeholders and passengers an unrivalled airport experience. These facilities now include Concourse A, the world’s first purpose built A380 facility which opened in January this year.
Despite the large number of passengers that pass through the airport we are able to cater to the cosmopolitan and diverse tastes of our international customer base.
These facilities, together with our constant focus on service, continue to yield results and elevate the passenger experience to greater heights.
As part of our focus on service, Dubai Airports strives for top scores with its principal internal customers as part of an integrated and holistic approach to improving the overall customer experience. That includes all 125 client airlines, ground services provider dnata, Customs and Immigration, Dubai Duty Free and other retailers, Dubai Police and, ultimately, every single one of the 66.4 million passengers who passed through Dubai International’s three terminals in 2013.
During the past year Dubai Airports continued to refine its service offering through a range of initiatives that responds to new requirements from our passengers and stakeholders.
Many of the initiatives rolled out in 2013 were aimed at easing the passenger’s journey through the airport. These included more efficient security scanning machines at security points as well as the introduction of new Smart Gates by Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Terminal 3 arrivals. Both have dramatically reduced the time spent completing travel formalities at Dubai International.
We also improved our lost and found service and have over the past 12 months introduced a new team and systems that will allow passengers to find missing items quickly and efficiently.
Fast forwarding security
Following a successful trial in Terminal 3 in 2012, Dubai Airports last year began implementing new screening machines which dramatically improve the flow of passengers through security points at Dubai International.
The machines automatically circulate and queue the security trays, allowing quicker passage of passengers through the security checkpoints. Not only are trays always available to passengers approaching security points but the screening tables on either end have been extended to allow them more time to prepare for baggage screening. This will ensure a steady flow of trays through the x-ray machines, eliminating delays.
“In total 116 machines will be installed across Dubai International as well as Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central.”
In total 116 machines will be installed across Dubai International as well as Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central. In 2013 79 machines were put in place with the remainder to be installed in Terminal 1 and Concourse C as part of their respective refurbishment programmes in 2014.
The benefits of the new machines are already being felt – and in many cases exceeding expectations – with fewer delays experienced at security points by increasing the number of passengers being processed per hour from an average of 280 to 400, up 70 per cent.
Dubai Airports, together with Dubai Police, have also introduced dedicated lanes for light travellers to ensure a speedy passage through the security screening process. Dedicated May I Help You staff identify and direct passengers to the right security screening lane during peak hours.
As the volume of passengers grows, so there is pressure on Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), in partnership with Dubai Airports, to streamline the immigration process.
Last year Smart Gates were introduced at Dubai International’s Terminal 3 arrivals which allow passengers with bar-coded passports to scan their travel documents, conduct an eye scan and entry the country in under a minute. Already 28 of the machines are in place in Terminal 3 arrivals and will in the coming year be rolled out to Terminal 3 departures and Terminal 1.
As part of its focus on improved service, the GDRFA has also opened a large office in Terminal 3 to deal with all immigration issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Lost & Found
In a bid to make finding a lost item easier, Dubai Airports has introduced an electronic cataloguing system together with a dedicated May I Help You team.
Following a successful trial in Concourse A during 2013, Dubai Airports’ new lost and found team is being deployed across Dubai International.
“Following a successful trial in Concourse A during 2013, Dubai Airports’ new lost and found team is being deployed across Dubai International.”
The new team of 72 May I Help You employees roam the airport floor and locate left or lost items, as well as attend to any items reported by other service staff or the public. The team is responsible for all lost items in the airport as well as items left on Emirates airline aircraft in Dubai. Once an item has been found, they will put the item in a barcoded bag and upload the details of the item to a central database. Once reviewed and released by Dubai Police, the item will be kept at one of six conveniently located offices for passengers to collect. To make it easier for passengers to find an item, the lost and found system has been linked to all info zones where May I Help You staff will be able to track found items and direct passengers to the nearest storage location.
The team has already had huge success, tracking and returning thousands of found items to their rightful owners during 2013.
Dubai International continued its ‘silent airport’ concept in 2013. The programme dramatically curtails the number of public announcements made across all three terminals at the world’s second busiest airport for international passenger traffic.
As part of these programmed operational messages, including reminders to get to your gate on time, have been incorporated on the flight information display screens. These messages help alert passengers of any changes to their flights well in advance of getting to the gate.
Dubai Airports continues to identify gaps in its service offering and respond with appropriate steps to close them. In 2013 several projects were implemented which focused on eliminating such gaps.
One such success was the opening of new lounges in all three terminals where passengers can wait for the delivery of visas in comfort. Also Dubai Airports expanded the Emirates airline chauffeur drive check-in lounge and parking area in Terminal 3 to accommodate more passengers and minimise check-in times.
Both projects have helped improve the service experience for both groups of passengers.
Dubai Airports’ efforts to enhance the customer experience have been widely recognised.
During the year Dubai International was named as the Airport of the Year at the seventh Aviation Business Awards (ABAs) 2013 and Best Airport Middle East at the World Travel Awards 2013. Dubai International’s tremendous efforts to improve service levels through innovation were also awarded at the Best Passenger Assistance Initiatives award at the Future Travel Experience Awards, presented at Future Travel Experience Global 2013 in Las Vegas.
The airport’s world-class cargo facilities and services were also praised. During the year Dubai International was named Best Airport in the Middle East at the Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards; Air Cargo Hub of the Year at the Supply Chain & Air Transport Awards as well as Best Airport (Cargo – Middle East) at Air Cargo Excellence Awards.
These prestigious awards reconfirm that the various initiatives to improve service across our airports are being acknowledged by our passengers and stakeholders and continue to move us another step towards becoming the operator of the world’s best and most friendly airports.