Dubai International Terminal 3

Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 is an airport terminal at Dubai International Airport serving Dubai, UAE. When completed and opened on 14 October 2008, it was the largest building in the world by floor area and is currently the world’s largest airport terminal, with over 1,713,000 m2 (18,440,000 sq ft) of space. The partly underground Terminal 3 was built at a cost of US$4.5 billion, exclusively for Emirates and has a capacity of 43 million passengers. However it was announced on 6 September 2012 that Terminal 3 would no longer be Emirates exclusive, as Emirates and Qantas had set up an extensive code sharing agreement. Qantas would be the second and only one of two airlines to fly in and out of Terminal 3. This deal also allows Qantas to use the A380 Dedicated Concourse A.[1] The terminal has 5 Airbus A380 gates at Concourse B, and 18 at Concourse A.[2] (though since 2018, Qantas no longer flies to Dubai, as nonstop QF9/10 from Perth to London were launched and A380 again routed via Singapore instead). In December 2018, flydubai commenced flights from Terminal 3 to selected destinations to facilitate transfers to/from Emirates.[3][4]

Dubai International Airport Terminal 3
Alternative names Terminal 3
General information
Type Airport terminal
Location Al Garhoud district, Dubai
Address Al Garhoud, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Current tenants Emirates
Construction started November 2004
Completed 2008
Opened 14 October 2008
Inaugurated 14 October 2008
Cost $4.5 billion
Owner Dubai Airports Company, Government of Dubai
Height Terminal 3 – Concourse A, 40 m (130 ft)
Terminal 3 – Concourse B, 49.5 m (162 ft)
Technical details
Structural system Steel frame roof with glass facades
Floor count Concourse A, 11 floors
Concourse B, 10 floors
Floor area 1,713,000 m2 (18,440,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architecture firm Aéroport de Paris (ADPi), France
Main contractor Al Habtoor Engineering, Dubai, UAE
Murray & Roberts, Bedfordview, South Africa
Takenaka Corporation Dubai Office, UAE

. . . Dubai International Terminal 3 . . .

Terminal 3 includes a multi level underground structure, first and business class lounges, restaurants, 180 check-in counters and 2,600 car-parking spaces. The terminal offers more than double the previous retail area of concourse C, by adding about 4,800 m2 (52,000 sq ft) and Concourse B’s 10,700 m2 (115,000 sq ft) of shopping facilities.[5]

When completed, Terminal 3 was the largest building in the world by floor space, with over 1,713,000 m2 (18,440,000 sq ft) of space, capable of handling 43 million passengers in a year.[6] That record was overtaken by the New Century Global Center in 2013, but Terminal 3 remains to be the second largest building in the world by floor space. A large part is located under the taxiway area and is directly connected to Concourse B: the departure and arrival halls in the new structure are 10 m (33 ft) beneath the airport’s apron. It has been operational since 14 October 2008, and opened in four phases to avoid collapse of baggage handling and other IT systems.[7]

The baggage handling system is the largest system and also the deepest in the world; it has a capacity to handle 8,000 bags per hour. The system includes 21 screening injection points, 49 make-up carousels, 90 kilometres (56 mi) of conveyor belts capable of handling 15,000 items per hour at a speed of 27 kilometres per hour (17 mph), and 4,500 early baggage storage positions.[8] The entire system is located beneath the taxiway area. High-speed conveyors transport the items of baggage in individual trays, which permits better control at high speeds and leads to quicker passenger check-in and 100 percent accurate baggage tracking.[9]

Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport comprises two concourses: Concourse A and Concourse B.

Concourse A was built at a cost of US$3.2 billion and was opened for operations on January 2, 2013. The total built up area of Concourse A is 528,000 m2 (5,680,000 sq ft). The concourse is 924 m (3,031 ft) long, 91 m (299 ft) wide and 40 m (130 ft) high in the centre from the apron level. It was fully operational within the first month of its inaugural during which the facility handled 461,972 pieces of baggage carried on over 2,450 flights serving 589,234 passengers.[10] Concourse A is the world’s first A380 purpose built facility and also features the world’s first multi-level boarding for first and business class passengers directly from the respective lounges.

Concourse A is connected to the two major public levels of Terminal 3 via an automated people mover (APM) in addition to the vehicular and baggage handling system utility tunnels for further transfer. The building, which follows the characteristic shape of Concourse B, accommodates 20 air bridge gates, of which 18 are capable of handling the Airbus A380-800.[11][12] The concourse has 11 floors, 14 cafes and restaurants, 50 airline counters, and 202 hotel rooms.[10] There are also 6 remote lounges for passengers departing on flights parked at 13 remote stands. The gates in concourse A are labelled A1- A24.[13]

Concourse A has an annual capacity of 19 million passengers; it has increased the airport’s total capacity from 60 million passengers to 75 million passengers per year. The facility was built as Emirates exclusive, however it also served Qantas from September 2012 to March 2018, following the Australian carrier’s tie-up with Emirates. The concourse includes one 4 star hotel and one 5 star hotel, first and business class lounges, and duty-free areas. The total built-up area is 540,000 m2 (5,800,000 sq ft).[14]

. . . Dubai International Terminal 3 . . .

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. . . Dubai International Terminal 3 . . .

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