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Dubai: Some 2,000 residents of the UAE who participated in the first operational readiness trial of Dubai International’s Concourse D on Saturday, have given the Dh3.3 billion facility their seal of approval, Dubai Airports said on Tuesday.

The major trial follows months of comprehensive experiments and tests involving staff and stakeholders.

The trial will pave the way for the opening of the new facility which is designed to meet the needs of the 70-plus international network carriers at Dubai International Airport’s newly renovated Terminal 1.

Aimed at determining the readiness of staff, systems and processes by simulating a typical airport operation at the new facility, the trial was a result of a collaborative effort led by Dubai Airports in partnership with airlines, the Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects and dnata. It also involved authorities such as Dubai Police, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs and Dubai Customs.

Some 2,000 residents, including men, women, children, senior citizens and individuals with special needs, volunteered to play the role of passengers arriving at, departing from and transiting through Concourse D, testing way-finding signage and the flow of passenger traffic within the new building.

Trial participants also secured a first look and taste of the tantalising array of retail and food and beverage outlets featuring in the concourse.

“I would like to thank all the volunteers for taking time out of their weekend and bringing their families along to help us get the new concourse ready for opening,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

“The final element of our $7.8 billion (Dh28.62 billion) Strategic Plan 2020, Concourse D is a timely welcome addition to Dubai International. It’s a facility designed around the needs and comfort of our customers, who will surely notice and appreciate the short walking distances to boarding gates, and the accessible layout of a wide variety of world-class food and retail offerings” he added.

Concourse D will increase Dubai International Airport’s annual capacity from 75 million to 90 million passengers, enabling the world’s number one hub for international passengers to accommodate the continuous growth in traffic.