Dubai World Central ready for traffic surge as FIFA World Cup 2022 prepares for take-off

Dubai World Central ready for traffic surge as FIFA World Cup 2022 prepares for take-off

Dubai: Dubai Airports is preparing for a massive surge in passenger numbers at Dubai World Central (DWC) with the Match Day Shuttle Flights to Doha, Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2022 all set to start from November 20. Operated by flydubai and Qatar Airways, up to 120 match-day shuttle flights will fly in and out of DWC every day between November 20 and December 19, shuttling football fans to Doha to enjoy the game and return back to Dubai.

The 26.5-million-passenger-per-annum capacity terminal at DWC is already fully operational with the whole array of airport services, food and beverage and retail outlets as well as Dubai duty-free, serving existing charter operations by multiple international carriers for the ongoing winter season. 

The launch of the match day shuttle flights and additional charter flights connected to the FIFA World Cup games are expected to increase the passenger demand at DWC three-fold over the coming weeks. Passenger numbers at the airport are forecast to surpass 494,000 in the final three months of the year.

“A spike in demand of this magnitude would pose a challenge for any airport, but we have had some recent practice. 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, while managing an exceptionally strong recovery throughout. The collaborative spirit within the airport community here in Dubai is strong and it will go into overdrive in the coming weeks to convert this challenge into a great opportunity,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. 

He added that the FIFA World Cup related operations will provide Dubai Airports with a chance to showcase DWC’s unique selling points such as its proximity to new Dubai, quick turnaround time for carriers, and a full-fledged facility designed for quick and easy travel with minimum walking distances among others. 

Dubai Airports is pulling out all the stops to provide match-goers travelling to Qatar a smooth and effortless airport experience at DWC. The operator will be deploying a dedicated front-line team to facilitate efficient processing at every service touchpoint, ensure a consistently smooth experience and on-time departures. More than 60 check-in counters, 21 boarding gates, 60 passport control counters (departures and arrivals) and 10 smart gates, and 4 baggage belts on arrivals will be operational throughout the period to cope with the anticipated surge in demand.

Getting to and from the airport will also be made easier through a Road Transport Authority (RTA) dedicated bus service operating every 30 minutes around the clock between DWC and the Ibn Battuta Metro Station and Expo City Metro Station. RTA taxis will also be available as usual, and travellers driving to DWC will be able to use the airport’s 2,500-vehicle capacity car park free-of-charge. 

Dubai Airports has advised match-goers flying on match day shuttle flights to check the health and other requirements with their respective airlines before arriving to the airport. It is mandatory for travellers to hold a valid match ticket and the Hayya Card  to board match day shuttle flights. The baggage allowance for passengers using the shuttle service is limited to hand luggage as per their class of travel, and no checked luggage will be accepted except wheelchairs and strollers.

In addition to the match day shuttle services, flydubai and Qatar Airways will be operating chartered flights to cater to the passenger demand for the FIFA World Cup matches in Qatar.

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