Your Guide to Dubai International Airport (OMDB)

Your Guide to Dubai International Airport (OMDB)
Elevation: 62ft / 19m


This is an easy guide for pilots wanting to get know all about Dubai Airport and getting their head around flying in and out of this mega airport!

Dubai International is the world’s busiest airport by international traffic, it is also the nineteenth-busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic, one of the busiest cargo airports in the world, the busiest airport for Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 movements, and the airport with the highest average number of passengers per flight in 2017, DXB handled 88 million passengers and 2.65 million tonnes of cargo and registered over 400,000 aircraft movements. OMDB serves a hub for Emirates, flydubai and Fedex Express.

Terminal Information

Passenger Terminals

Terminal 1 / Concourse D

terminal 1 dxb

Terminal 1 is located on the western side of the airport and has a capacity of 15 million passengers. It is used by over 100 airlines and is connected to Concourse D by an automated people mover.

The Terminal was originally built to handle 18 million passengers; however, with extreme congestion at the terminal, the airport was forced to expand the terminal to accommodate the opening of 28 remote gates. Over the years, more mobile gates were added to the airport bringing the total as of 2010 to 28.

As shown in Infinite Flight in RED with some remote stands in PINK:

Terminal 1 consists of Gates C48 to C64 (excluding the remote stands) and alongside Terminal 3, cater to international passengers and handle 85% of the passenger traffic.

All international airlines operate out of this Terminal (except Emirates), a few to list are:

Kenya Airways
British Airways

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 built in 1998 has a capacity of 10 million as of 2013, after several, decent reconstructions and a major expansion in 2012 which saw capacity double. It is used by over 50 airlines, mainly operating in the Persian Gulf region. Most flights operate to India, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In June 2009, Terminal 2 became the hub of Air India Express and flydubai and the terminal houses the airline’s corporate head office.

There are a total of 43 remote stands at the terminal. However, passengers cannot move between Terminal 2 to 1 or from 2 to 3 and vice versa inside the airport. They have to make use of Taxi service or public transport available outside.

As shown in Infinite flight in BLUE with some remote stands in PINK:

Flydubai and other regional and international airlines operate out of this terminal such as:

Badr Airlines
Iraqi Airways
Air India Express
Daallo Airlines

Terminal 3

This section will be separated into 3 sections (Concourses)

The partly underground Terminal 3 was built exclusively for Emirates and has a capacity of 65 million passengers. The terminal has 20 Airbus A380 gates at Concourse A and 5 at Concourse B and 2 at Concourse C. It was announced on 6 September 2012 that Terminal 3 would no longer be Emirates-exclusive, as Emirates and Qantas had set up an extensive code sharing agreement. Qantas would be the second and only one of two airlines to fly in and out of Terminal 3. This deal also allows Qantas to use the A380 dedicated concourse.

Upon completion, Terminal 3 was the largest building in the world by floor space, capable of handling 60 million passengers in a year. A large part is located under the taxiway area and is directly connected to Concourse B: the departure and arrival halls in the new structure are 10 m (33 ft) beneath the airport’s apron. Concourse A is connected to the terminal via a Terminal 3 APM (Automated People Mover). It has been operational since 14 October 2008, and opened in four phases to avoid collapse of baggage handling and other IT systems.

As shown in Infinite Flight in LIME GREEN:

Concourse A

Concourse A, part of Terminal 3, opened 2 January 2013, has a capacity of 19 million passengers and is connected to the two major public levels of Terminal 3 via Terminal 3 APM (Automated People Mover) in addition to the vehicular and baggage handling system utility tunnels for further transfer. The concourse was built at a cost of US$3.3 billion. The building, which follows the characteristic shape of Concourse B, accommodates 20 air bridge gates, of which all are capable of handling the Airbus A380-800. There are also 6 remote lounges for passengers departing on flights parked at 13 remote stands. The gates in concourse A are labelled A1–A24.

The concourse includes one 4-star hotel, first and business-class lounges, and duty-free areas. The concourse allows for multi-level boarding and boasts the largest first and business class lounges in the world. Each lounge has its own dedicated floor offering direct aircraft access from the lounges.

As shown in Infinite Flight in MINT GREEN:

Concourse B

Concourse B is directly connected to terminal 3 and is dedicated exclusively to Emirates. The terminal has 10 floors (4 basements, a ground floor and 5 above floors). The building currently includes a multi-level structure for departures and arrivals and includes 32 gates, labelled B1–B32. The concourse has 26 air bridge gates and 5 boarding lounges for 14 remote stands that are for Airbus A380, Airbus A340 and Boeing 777 aircraft only. For transit passengers the concourse has 3 transfer areas and 62 transfer desks.

The concourse also includes the Emirates first and Business class lounges, and the Marhaba lounge. The First class lounge has a capacity of 1,800 passengers while the Business class lounge has a capacity of 3,000 passengers. The Marhaba lounge, the smallest lounge at the concourse has a capacity of 300 passengers at a time.

There is a direct connection to Sheikh Rashid Terminal (Concourse C) located at the control tower structure through passenger walkways. Concourse B includes five aerobridges that are capable of handling the Airbus A380. Emirates Airline continues to maintain a presence in Concourse C, operating 12 gates at the concourse as well as the Emirates First Class and Business Class Lounges.

As shown in Infinite Flight in DARK GREEN

Concourse C


Concourse C, is a part of Terminal 3, was opened in 2000 and used to be the largest concourse at Dubai International Airport before Concourse B in Terminal 3 opened. It incorporates 50 gates, including 28 air bridges and 22 remote gates located at a lower level of the terminal. The gates are labelled C1–C50.

The concourse includes over 17 food and beverage cafes and restaurants, with the food court being located on the Departures Level. Also located in the concourse is a 5-star hotel and a duty-free shopping facility. Other facilities include prayer rooms and a medical centre. Concourse C became part of Terminal 3 in 2016 after concourse D opened.

As shown in Infinite Flight in TEA GREEN

Al Majlis VIP Pavilion and Dubai Executive Flight Terminal

The Al Majlis VIP pavilion is located in the southeast corner of the airport, it was exclusively built for the Dubai Royal Air Wing and opened on 1 July 2008. The entire facility is a 3,400-square-metre (37,000 sq ft) terminal, and includes a Royal Majlis and an antenna farm. It also includes eight aircraft hangars and maintenance hangars for Boeing 747s and Airbus A380s, and a gatehouse for VIP service. In 2010 there were 47,213 customers, 13,162 movements and in 2009, there were a total of 43,968 customers and 14,896 movements.

As shown in Infinite Flight in WHITE:

Executive Flight Services (EFS) caters to those passengers of high class or special importance that travel through Dubai International Airports. It is the largest dedicated business aviation terminal of its kind in the Middle East. It is located at the Dubai Airport Free Zone close to Dubai International’s Terminal 2. It only caters to private flights exclusive to the terminal. Airlines operating from the terminal are expected to maintain a lounge. In 2010, EFS handled 7,889 aircraft movements and 25,177 passengers.

The centre itself is located close to Terminal 2, and includes a two-storey main building, a hangar, a ramp area for aircraft parking and a special VIP car park for long term parking. The centre also has its own immigration and customs sections, its own Dubai Duty Free outlet, a fully equipped business and conference centre, eight luxury private lounges and a limousine service between aircraft and the terminal. The ramp area of the terminal can accommodate up to 22 small-sized private jets, between 8 and 12 medium-sized jets or up to four large-sized jets such as a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), the Boeing 727 or the Airbus A319. The facility makes EFC the largest dedicated business aviation terminal in the Middle East.

As shown in Infinite Flight in GOLD:

Cargo Operations

Cargo Mega Terminal


The cargo village at Dubai International Airport is one of the world’s largest and most central cargo hubs, with most of the cargo for Asia and Africa coming through the facility. Forecasts in 2004 for cargo growth predicted that additional major cargo handling facilities were needed to satisfy demands. Plans were put in place to construct the first stage of the cargo mega terminal, which by 2018 will have the ability to handle three million tons of freight. Phase 1 of the cargo mega terminal was completed by 2004 and the next phase of expansion was scheduled for completion in late 2007. Presently the airport has a cargo capacity of 2.5 million tonnes, and will be expanded to handle 3 million.

As shown in infinite Flight in ORANGE:

Aside from all of these, there are multiple remote stands scattered around the airport with the ones further southeast used for longterm storage, IRL you would find some parked A380’s, there is also Emirates Engineering/Maintenance Hangers located up north of the airport in the section UNMARKED in the picture below.

Airport Layout Picture

Runway Information

Let’s look a little closer at these runways shall we?

Airport Diagam

12R/30L 4,447m (14,590 ft) 60m (197 ft) Yes
12L/30R 4,000m (13,120 ft) 60m (200 ft) Yes

Runway 12L/30R

When winds blow from the desert, 12L is in use for arrivals only. Runway 30R is mainly used for departures. During mid-day, it can occur that some departures take place on 30L due to shorter taxiing-times and relief for residents as well as for some minor runway works.

Runway 12R/30L

When the wind blows from the desert to the city, 12R is used for the departures only. 95 percent of the traffic during the winter arrives on RWY30L with some very few arrivals on 30R (mainly airlines located at Terminal 2)

Chart Information

Procedures (SIDs and STARs) are available for all runways at OMDB, the link below takes you to a very good site with all your chart wants and needs:

OMDB Charts Galore


Thank you for taking the time to look through my very first Airport Guide! Any suggestions, questions and feedback will be appreciated.

Guide brought to you by: @Jxshua
Formatting Assistance: @Julien_Narayanasawmy


Amazing job @Jxshua!! This will be very helpful! 😊

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Very good airport guide @Jxshua! Finally we have a detailed guide for OMDB :)

-Fynn Fetter
Chief Recruiting Manager
Dubai Virtual Airlines


Awesome! we absolutely need these kind of info. please continue this work for other airports specially in middle east! :)

1 Like