Stock DWC Dubai World central
All set for match days - Dubai World Central will see a full complement of shuttle and charter flights operating to Doha through the month-long tournament. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: If you are heading to the FIFA World Cup, then Dubai Airports has you covered. A mind-boggling 120 shuttle flights will fly in and out of Dubai World Central (DWC) airport every day during the course of the near-month long tournament in Doha.

flydubai and Qatari flag carrier Qatar Airways will fly several hundred thousand football fans to Doha and back to Dubai from November 20 to December 19, according to Dubai Airports. Along with the launch of ‘match day’ shuttle flights, flydubai and Qatar Airways will also operate additional charter flights connected to the event. These operations are expected to increase passenger traffic through DWC three-fold over these weeks, said Dubai Airports, operator of both Dubai International Airport (DXB) and DWC.

"Passenger numbers at the airport are forecast to surpass 494,000 in the year's final three months," said Dubai Airports.

Dubai World Central, located in Dubai South, will also serve as a base for existing charter operations run by multiple international carriers for the ongoing winter season. Dubai Airports has also announced details of transportation facilities to DWC, rules for passengers, and the entire list of airport capabilities to ramp up demand for travel to Doha.

‘Practice' helps prepare for World Cup

Dubai Airports said the 26.5-million-passengers-per-annum capacity terminal at DWC is fully operational, with an array of airport services, F&B and retail outlets, and duty-free options. "A spike in demand of this magnitude would pose a challenge for any airport, but we have had some recent practice," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

"In May-June this year, we orchestrated the almost flawless temporary relocation of more than 1,000 flights a week from Dubai International (DXB) to DWC for the 45-day-long DXB northern runway rehabilitation project. We were able to do this while managing an exceptionally strong recovery throughout."

The Dubai airport community's collaborative spirit is strong, and will go into overdrive in the coming weeks to convert this challenge into a great opportunity, he added.

Check out these services for football fans

Dubai Airports is pulling out all the stops to provide match-goers travelling to Qatar with a smooth airport experience at DWC. They are:

  • A dedicated front-line team to facilitate efficient processing at every service touchpoint, ensuring a consistently smooth experience and on-time departures;
  • More than 60 check-in counters;
  • 21 boarding gates;
  • 60 passport control counters (departures and arrivals);
  • 10 smart gates; and
  • 4 baggage belts on arrivals will be operational throughout the period to cope with the anticipated surge in demand.

How to get to Dubai World Central

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will operate a dedicated bus service every 30 minutes, around the clock, between DWC and Ibn Battuta Metro Station and Expo City Metro Station.

RTA taxis will also be available, and travellers driving to DWC can use the airport's 2,500-vehicle capacity car park free of charge.

Things Doha match-goers must keep in mind

Dubai Airports has advised match-goers flying to Doha to check their health and other requirements with their respective airlines before arriving at the airport. "Travellers must hold a valid match ticket and the Hayya Card to board match day shuttle flights," it said.

The baggage allowance for passengers using the shuttle service is limited to hand luggage as per their class of travel. Except for wheelchairs and strollers, airlines will not accept checked baggage at check-in.