'No queues': Dubai’s Al Maktoum airport passengers to finish flight check-in before getting there

Travellers won’t need to stop for immigration, check-in, security or customs, says top official


Sahim Salim

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


Photo: Dubai Media Office
Photo: Dubai Media Office

Published: Tue 30 Apr 2024, 4:57 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Apr 2024, 5:28 PM

Passengers at Al Maktoum International (DWC) will not need to queue up for any travel-related formalities when it becomes Dubai’s sole airport in 10 years, a top official has said. Speaking to Khaleej Times, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said DWC will have the concept of ‘no red lights’.

All check-in formalities will be done even before people get close to the airport, he said. Passengers will be able to drop off their bags and check in for their flights before or during their journey to the airport.

Stay up to date with the latest news. Follow KT on WhatsApp Channels.

“The idea is that when you arrive at the airport, you've got a short and very convenient route to walk. You do not have to stop for immigration, for check-in, for security (checks), customs or anything. We want to give the power to the customer to decide when they want to stop — at a shop to buy something or at restaurants to have a meal or in a lounge to enjoy and relax,” he said.

New aviation technologies will be implemented at the airport, allowing passengers to choose how they spend their time. “We will not force them to stand in queues. The idea is to enable new techniques and technologies to make the airport (experience) as nonstop and as seamless as we possibly can.”

When fully operational, DWC will be the largest in the world spanning 70 sq km. But the airport’s operator is determined to also make it the best. “So, the customer experience is paramount in our minds. Citizens, visitors and those who are thinking of coming to Dubai to make this their home or their place of business can rest assured that we will be building something that is not a massive monolith that is difficult to navigate (or) has massive walking distances.”

Phases, timeline

Announced this week, a Dh128-billion passenger terminal that’s being built at DWC will scale up passenger capacity to 260 million annually. All operations at Dubai International Airport (DXB) will be transferred to it in 10 years.

According to the airport operator’s chief executive, the move will be done in phases. “It would be unthinkable to move what will be a passenger number of about 120 million from DXB to DWC in a single go. It will have to be done in phases, which we will obviously have to manage and orchestrate very carefully.”

Once the design, procurement and construction phases are done, the airport would need “about two years” for operational testing. “So, you know, the time will go very quickly and it will be upon us before we know where we are. Nothing of this scale has been attempted before.”

The transition, however, will start “very shortly”. He highlighted that the DWC has been operating for the last 14 years. The airport opened in June 2010 for cargo operations, followed by passenger flights in October 2013.

“We have a passenger terminal there of about 32 million people. We will probably start to move airline capacity to DWC in advance of the main new terminal being completed. Over the next few years, the existing capacity will start to be utilised in greater numbers.”


More news from Business