Becoming the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic was a fantastic way for Dubai International (DXB) to end what was an extraordinarily challenging and productive year for Dubai Airports.
With more than 70.4 million passengers passing through the airport in 2014 we can confidently claim the title of managing the world’s number one international airport while putting DXB on track to increase that lead by welcoming over 79 million passengers in the coming year.
This milestone was achieved despite the fact that Dubai International was restricted to a single runway for 80 days during the middle of the year as we refurbished and upgraded both our runways. As challenging as this project was, we completed the refurbishment programme with minimal impact to our passengers and created additional capacity to accommodate Emirates and flydubai’s fast expanding fleets.
The runway rehabilitation work was just one of several projects conducted in 2014 to boost capacity at Dubai International as we strive to accommodate the more than 100 million passengers we expect to pass through the airport by 2020.
This approach reflects a reinvigorated focus on our customers, providing an airport journey that is convenient and superior to any other. This is an enormous challenge – and not one we take lightly.
During the year, we also completed the expansion of Terminal 2, while Concourse D and a refurbished Terminal 1 are track for completion in the second half of 2015.
Given projections for over 190 million passengers by 2030, in September we announced plans for a massive $32bn expansion to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) to create the world’s largest and most advanced airport. This will provide capacity for more than 200 million passengers when ultimately completed.
But more than its size, the focus will be on creating an experience that makes the journey through the airport memorable and hassle-free, by leveraging technology and dispensing with some legacy airport systems.
It is with this in mind that we have reorganised our business to ensure that we have the skills and capacity to deliver not only the airport infrastructure but the customer experience that will define our operations. At the same time we have reorganised our business to support the delivery of a ground-breaking passenger experience through improved processes, better systems and collaboration across the entire organisation.
Already we have achieved success in further improving the world-class facilities we offer at Dubai International. The new family area in Terminal 3’s B Gates and the announcement of a new line-up of world-class food outlets for Concourse D are perfect examples of this passenger focused approach.
However, we need to go even further. In the year ahead we will continue to introduce new ways of providing services and products that will ensure the time our passengers spend with us is quality time. In 2015 the passenger will continue to take centre stage as we focus not only on operating the busiest airports in the world but ultimately the best.