Checking out the new Emirates A380 concourse

During a recent stopover in Dubai on a flight from Auckland to Madrid, I was able to take a first-hand look at Emirates’ remarkable new concourse that is dedicated to A380 operations.

Concourse A is part of Dubai’s Terminal 3 development. It has 20 contact gates for A380s, and Emirates says it is the first terminal facility in the world to be purpose-built for this aircraft. The phased opening was completed on Feb. 10.

Probably the most amazing features are the first and business class lounges, which each occupy an entire floor of the concourse. Emirates says they are the largest anywhere, and I would certainly believe it.

I went through the business class lounge, which was indeed massive. Gates are accessed directly from the lounge, and there are multiple dining stations so you can sit down and have a meal close to your gate. Which is just as well, since walking the length of the lounge is quite a trek.

I didn’t get to venture onto the first class floor, but I could see parts of it from the business class floor -- including its dedicated duty free shopping area.

Below are some pictures I took of the new concourse, and the business lounge.

The first view is from the business class lounge on the fifth level, looking over the first class lounge on the fourth level, towards the curved windows of Concourse A.

The picture below is of one of the dining stations (at left) in the business class lounge. This is just a small part of the lounge area.

The next shot shows a separate seating area with a sculpture in the center.

The shot below shows the entrance atrium in the business class lounge. The registration desks are out of sight in the lobby area, to the left of the large pillars.

The next picture depicts the elevator bank beside the underground train stop.

The last photo is cheating a bit, because it's actually from the business lounge at Melbourne airport. But it shows a view that will be seen at Dubai soon -- a Qantas A380 taxiing to a terminal where an Emirates A380 is waiting to load. Qantas will be flying to Dubai from March 31, and will also use Concourse A for its A380 flights.

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