Whilst no official opening date for the first commercial passenger flight has been announced, the executive chairman of the airport management company; Dubai Aviation City Corporation has hinted in an interview with the Middle Eastern edition of Business Traveller magazine that the inaugural flight may well happen well before the original projected date of the end of this year. Being suitably vague, Khalifa Al Zaffin said that the first flight may land there at any time between the first and third quarters of 2013.
This news will come as a welcome relief to business travellers to Dubai who are increasingly encountering delays, long queues for check in and security, lost luggage and other frustrations as the current airport; Dubai International struggles to cope with increased passenger demand.
For now, the airport remains relatively peaceful whilst builders finish off any snagging and retailers stock the shops in the huge shopping mall that accompanies the airport. Pillows are being fluffed in the hotels and silver cutlery polished in the executive and royal lounges at the airport. Elsewhere, extensive staff training is underway to ensure that the airport staff deal efficiently and courteously with the projected 160m passengers expected when the airport is fully operational.
It’s likely that the first arrivals at the new airport will have only a few days’ notice of the change of airport as, when ready to open, the airport will be able to seamlessly transfer flights from Dubai International. Passengers will be offered free transfers to Dubai International if that is their preference to counter any inconvenience at the change of airport but it’s expected that many will prefer to arrive at Dubai World Central for it’s there that many of the new businesses Dubai is attracting will be based.
Expectant travellers are already excited by the thought of arriving at a new airport in a brand new city although early arrivals may still find parts of Dubai World Central looking like a construction site. However there’ll still be the eye-popping shopping mall and the five star hotels to look forward to as well as the early vestiges of the entertainment complexes designed to keep the inhabitants of Dubai World Central happy.
For now though, the clock is ticking down to the day when probably an Airbus A380, loaded with excited passengers, will touch down at Al Maktoum Airport and begin a new adventure in travel for visitors to Dubai.
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