Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport opens. Wow?

The exclusive Emirates Airline terminal of Dubai International Airport opened its doors yesterday. The airline projects catering to 40 million passengers annually, so an exclusive terminal was a necessity.

With all the crazy developments in Dubai over the last few years, each one outdoing the other, it’s hard to maintain wow factor. Nevertheless, the new airport wing has been fussed about a lot, so here are the details.

According to an article in Gulf News’s Xpress: At a price of $4.5 billion, the terminal has taken 10 million cubic meters of soil (enough to fill 4,000 swimming pools), 33,000 tonnes of structural steel, and 450 tonnes of reinforcement to put the terminal together. It has 157 lifts, 97 escalators, 82 moving walkways and 27 truck lifts and eight “Sky Trains” that can handle 47 people each. Also, 8000 square meters of retail space has been added to the already existing 7000 square meters of the Dubai Duty Free shopping area.

This is the first phase of the 4-phase terminal that begins by operating 40 flights a day. When phase 4 opens in 2011, 269 flights are expected to depart from this terminal daily.

It has 30 self-check-in counters alongside 126 traditional check-in stations. Rumor is that you will even be able to check in from the terminal’s car park!

Dubai International Airport currently handles 40 million passengers a year; this new terminal increases its capacity enough to accommodate the movement of another 20 million passengers annually.

Gulf News has done a video walk through of this new wing which you can see here. You will not be surprised to see that it looks more like a high-tech 5-star hotel.