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Alpha-numeric System Introduced at Dubai International Airport

Alpha-numeric System Introduced at Dubai International Airport

A new alpha-numeric system has been installed at Dubai International Airport to make it easier for passengers to find their way around. The updating and conversion of existing signage was the first phase of a longer-term project.

Dubai Airports, airlines, ground handling and control agencies operating at Dubai International applied a new alpha-numeric system across all airport signage and computer support systems. The switch required that more than 1,500 signs be changed as hundreds of airport staff were deployed and took place during an eight-hour window.

Dubai International Airport Wayfinding New Signage

“Essentially we have looked at this through the eyes of our customers to help them find their flights with ease and convenience,” said Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive, Dubai Airports. “Research shows us that passengers find an alpha-numeric system a far easier way to navigate their way through the airport and locate their boarding gate.”

Dubai International currently consists of three terminals (Terminals 1, 2 and 3) that are used for passenger drop-off, check-in, immigration and security clearance – and three concourses (Concourses 1, 2 and 3) that house boarding gates, airline lounges and the majority of duty free retail and food and beverage outlets. While the terminals retain their current numbering, all concourses and departure gates have been renamed:

  • Concourse 1, which houses over 100 international airlines, becomes Concourse C with gates numbered C1 to C50
  • Concourse 2 becomes Concourse B with gates B1 to B32
  • Concourse 3, the world’s first purpose-built A380 facility set to open next year, becomes Concourse A with gates A1 to A24
  • On the other side of the airfield, gates in Terminal 2 have been numbered F1 to F6.

The remaining alpha-numeric sequences are being reserved for future airport facilities that are part of the Dubai Airports’ US$7.8 billion expansion programme, including Concourse D, for which excavation work commenced in June.

The updating and conversion of existing signage was the first phase of a longer-term project. When Concourse A opens in 2013, it will trigger a second round of upgrading that will feature the use of colour-coding and internationally recognised icons in addition to the use of alpha-numeric gate numbering to further simplify the way finding process.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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