x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Take off at new Dubai airport terminal

Business gets underway at Dubai International Airport's brand new Terminal 3 - the largest airport terminal building in the world.

The departure lounge of Dubai International Airport's new Terminal 3.
The departure lounge of Dubai International Airport's new Terminal 3.

An Emirates flight to Doha marked the start of business at Dubai International Airport's brand new Terminal 3 this afternoon. Flight EK843, which took off at 2.15pm, was the first flight to carry passengers from the plush new US$4.5 billion (Dh16.52bn) terminal - the largest airport terminal building in the world. With just six departure flights and nine arrivals at T3 on day one, the 1.5 million sqm glass and chrome building was hardly bustling this afternoon. Instead, the marble floors of the enormous departure lounge echoed only with the footsteps of staff members as they geared themselves up to deal with the first influx of passengers. The relative silence was broken occasionally by flight announcements from the public address system. Muhammed Asheer, a member of Dubai Civil Aviation's operations support team, said: "Everything is going smoothly so far, and I foresee that continuing. This is far better than the other terminals, and it will make life easier for passengers. "They will face less delays, I believe, because there are more counters for them in departures and arrivals." Gerard Nepomuceno, a sales assistant in the Dubai duty free shop in the arrivals area, said: "It's been really quiet so far, but things will get much busier when more flights are transferred here. It's a very beautiful terminal compared to the other ones - very spacious and more like a temple than an airport terminal." The first passengers to arrive at the new terminal were due to land at 3.55pm on flight EK2926 from Jeddah. From today, T3 is opening in phases and will eventually handle 17,000 passengers at any given time. Emirates Airline will move its entire daily schedule of 250 flights over to the new terminal by December. arichardson@thenational.ae