Dubai airport is slated to open the world's largest business and first class lounges in January next year at the new concourse coming up at a cost of USD four billion to house 28 superjumbo A-380s at a time.
Apart from accommodating the double-decker Airbus A-380s, the 11-floor concourse, with a capacity of handling 11 million passengers a year, would have a five-star and a four-star hotels with over 200 rooms.
Two lounges for First and Business Class passengers would occupy an entire floor each, extending to almost 900 metres or nearly a km long, said Don Surrendra, Manager (Product Development) of Emirates Airport Services.
While the first class lounge would have a capacity of accommodating 1,400 at a time and the business class lounge would house 2,500. The long lounges would have mirror foot- print, that is the same facilities would be provided on both sides of the floor, he told PTI from Dubai.
"The new fully functional concourse, a USD four billion project opened on January 2, house 28 A-380s at one time. You can board the aircraft from the lounge itself through separate aerobridges connecting the aircraft. This is a unique facility not provided by any airline in the world so far," he claimed.
Asked how many Indian passengers used lounges on an average, Surrendra said a total of 1.5 million passengers used the Emirates lounges in Dubai in the last financial year. "Of this, roughly 11 per cent were from India, reflecting a very strong demographic trend."
With a capacity to handle 15 million passengers a year, the 'Home of the Emirates A380' would be equipped with unique double-decker air contact bridges and direct lounge boarding for First and Business Class customers.
A unique feature would be duty-free shops inside the lounge area, which would enable passengers to shop there itself. It would also have a children's play area and prayer rooms, Surrendra said.
Apart from food and beverages, the lounge would have 15 spas, numerous showers, wi-fi facilities, business centres and TV lounges. The menu at the food section, which is already very popular with regular fliers, is rotated every month and has vegetarian dishes for Indian passengers.
Dubai Airport has already invited bids from food and beverage operators and selective retail-service providers for awarding concessions to set up facilities at the concourse. These would include 24-hour restaurants, licenced bars, coffee shops, speciality concepts and fast food.
Dubai airport connects customers to over 260 destinations in six continents on more than 140 airlines. Passenger numbers are expected to surpass 66 million in 2013 and exceed 78 million in two years.
Once complete, it would be home to the over 100 international airlines that currently use Concourse C and will serve up to 18 million passengers annually.