By ASHWINI PHADNIS www.thehindubusinessline.com
For Indian travellers who regularly fly to Dubai or stop over there for transit flights, the travel experience may change in the next five to seven years. You will get immigration, check-in and baggage handling details on your smart phone.
In case you live in Dubai, you can complete these formalities at one of the stations of the suburban train service; and board a train right into the terminal. The present Dubai International Airport (DIA) may be the favourite among shoppers, but imagine how many shops will find place in an airport where each concourse is the size of seven football fields!
These are some of the features that Dubai wants to introduce as it expands its second airport, Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central. To be built at a cost of $32 billion, the airport is an extension of the city’s global ambitions. And that ambition has become bigger with a turnaround in its economy in 2014, after it was hit by the 2008 global meltdown.
So if one thought that DIA, the city’s first airport, has already touched the peak after ending 2014 with 71 million passengers – making it the busiest airport in the world – the Al Maktoum International will take it to the next level. It will start with handling 120 million passengers a year, which will eventually double to 240 million. But don’t be overawed by the size. A flyer will never have to walk more than 500 metres to get to the boarding gate. More info