Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Concourse A (Erstwhile known as Concourse 3), the world’s first purpose-built Airbus A380-dedicated facility of its kind, will help create a between 5,000 to 6,000 jobs when it opens within the next three months, officials say.

Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Airports, told Gulf News that his team is gearing up for the opening of the new concourse. “It’s a whole new facility opening up and we are all excited about it. If things work out as planned, we are planning to open it during the first quarter of 2013.”

Dubai Airports currently employs 3,600 people. “Although we are the operator of the terminal, I assume the three largest stakeholders, Emirates, Dubai Duty Free and Dubai Airports and others will have employed between 5,000 to 6,000 people over a period,” he said. 

The new concourse will have six to seven tenants including Dubai Police, immigration, Duty Free, restaurants, airlines in addition to our own airport staff. Emirates itself – the anchor tenant will be hiring people to manage their operations. 

One of the key drivers of increased passenger and cargo traffic is the growth of Emirates airline. Emirates, which handled 34 million passengers last year, carries roughly 60-65 per cent of the total number of passengers passing through the airport.

Dubai Duty Free, one of the largest tenants of the facility, has already hired a few hundred employees to manage 11,000 square metres of retail area within the concourse. “We have already hired a large number of people to manage the new retail area within Concourse A, which will help us increase sales revenues next year,” Colm Mclaughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, told Gulf News in an interview recently.

Concourse A is the third among a four-concourse and three-terminal set-up covering an area of 14 square kilometres that will collectively handle more than 90 million passengers by 2020. Dubai International is poised to serve more than 57 million people this year and 66 million in 2013 and 98.5 million by 2020.

In the meantime, passenger traffic in a new airport – Al Maktoum International Airport (AMIA) – will start picking up as airlines will be encouraged to shift operations in AMIA which is poised to become the world’s biggest international airport when completed with a capacity to handle 160 million passengers.

The aviation sector represents $22 billion or 28 per cent of Dubai economy and supports 250,000 jobs or 19 per cent of the emirate’s total employment, according to a report by Oxford Business Report. Dubai government has been investing billions of dollars in developing the aviation infrastructure and airline – Emirates and FlyDubai – to support this sector’s growth. Aviation sector is also a major power fuelling the growth of Dubai economy as it provides the best connectivity for businesses to 220 destinations in the world.

“The Oxford Economics studies reveal how the development of strong aviation hubs can transform economies through connectivity,” Tony Tyler, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), told delegates at a conference in Algiers last month. “In the UAE, aviation accounts for nearly 15 per cent of GDP and about 14 per cent of jobs. The development of the three major gulf hubs has enabled Dubai to become a major tourist destination, Qatar to win the right to host the Fifa World Cup, and Abu Dhabi to attract Formula One, to give just three examples.”

The Dubai Government is investing $7.2 billion (Dh26.48 billion) in the fourth phase development of Dubai International Airport, after spending $4.5 billion in Terminal 3 and Concourse B project that was commissioned in 2008.