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Dubai International Airport (DXB) Spotting Guide

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Spotting Locations

Spotting Locations Map

Airport Information

Full Name
Dubai International Airport

IATA: DXB
ICAO: OMDB

Runways
12L/30R 4000 m Asphalt
12R/30L 4000 m Asphalt

Statistics (2018)
Passengers: 89.149 mln
Aircraft Operations: 408 251

Hub for
Emirates Airlines
Flydubai

Airlines
Aeroflot
African Express Airways
Air Algérie
Air Astana
Air Canada
Air China
Air France
Air India
Air India Express
airblue
Ariana Afghan Airlines
Azerbaijan Airlines
Azur Air
Badr Airlines
Biman Bangladesh Airlines
British Airways
Cathay Pacific
Cebu Pacific
China Eastern Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Daallo Airlines
EgyptAir
Emirates
Ethiopian Airlines
Finnair
flydubai
Flynas
GoAir
Gryphon Airlines
Gulf Air
IndiGo
Iran Air
Iraqi Airways
Japan Airlines
Jazeera Airways
Jubba Airways
Karun Airlines
Kenya Airways
Kish Air
KLM
Korean Air
Kuwait Airways
Lufthansa
Mahan Air
Middle East Airlines
Nepal Airlines
Norwegian Air Shuttle
Oman Air
Pakistan International Airlines
Pegasus Airlines
Philippine Airlines
Pobeda
Qeshm Airlines
Rossiya
Royal Brunei Airlines
Royal Jordanian
RwandAir
S7 Airlines
SalamAir
Saudia
Sichuan Airlines
Singapore Airlines
Smartwings
SpiceJet
SriLankan Airlines
Swiss International Air Lines
Syrian Air
Thai Airways
Transavia
Turkish Airlines
Turkmenistan Airlines
Ukraine International Airlines
Ural Airlines
Vistara
Yamal Airlines

Cargo
ASL Airlines Belgium
Cargolux
Coyne Airways
Emirates SkyCargo
Ethiopian Airlines
FedEx Express
FitsAir
Iran Air Cargo
Royal Airlines
Royal Jordanian Cargo
Silk Way Airlines
Spice jet
Star Air Aviation
TCS Couriers
UPS Airlines

Summary
Airport is located within the City of Dubai close to historic Deira Area. DXB is third-busiest airport in the world by the number of passengers and world’s busiest airport by international passenger traffic. DXB is also sixth-busiest cargo airport in the world. Aircrafts of more than 100 airlines from all over the world may be seen in Dubai Int’l Airport. Dubai is also the busiest airport for Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 movements. DXB is the home base of Dubai’s international airlines, Emirates Airlines and flydubai. Emirates handles 51% of all passenger traffic and accounts for approximately 42% of all aircraft movements at the airport. Low-cost carrier flydubai accounts for 13% of passenger traffic and 25% of aircraft movements at DXB. Cargo activities are gradually declining in recent years because many operations have been moved to the new Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC).
Aircraft spotting in UAE, and in Dubai Emirate in particular, is not understood and may be considered as dangerous activity. So the spotting opportunities at DXB are rather limited.

History
1963: Construction of the airport started.
1966: Airport opened with one 2800 m runway and one terminal.
1970s: New terminal built and runway expanded to 3800 m.
1984: Second runway opened.
1998: Terminal 2 built.
2007: Runways were expanded to accommodate the Airbus A380.
2008: Terminal 3 opened.

Terminals
Dubai International Airport has three terminals. Terminal 1 has one concourse (concourse D), Terminal 2 is set apart from the other two main buildings and Terminal 3 is divided into Concourse A, B, and C. The cargo terminal is capable of handling 3 million tonnes of cargo annually and a general aviation terminal (GAT) is close by.

Runway usage
Two parallel runways are 385 m apart and are used simultaneously for takeoffs and landings from both of them.

Spotting locations

1. Food court at T1, landside zone
25,249711; 55,352772
Huge food court in the landside zone of T1 is located on the level 1 and has big windows facing taxiway between Terminal 1 and Concourses C and B. To make pictures buy something and find a seat near the windows. Spotting here is relatively safe, but keep a low profile when security patrol passes the area.

2. Premier Inn Hotel
25,242833; 55,358942
The hotel is located opposite Terminal 3 building. Please note that it is impossible to get to the hotel by foot from the terminals. You may use taxi or hotel’s shuttle bus departing regularly from T1 and T3. Movements on taxiways along Concourse B and between Concourses B and A are visible from some rooms on top floors facing Airport Road. Swimming pool area on the roof top of the hotel offers the restricted view on departures from 30L. Hotel staff is completely tolerated to spotting by guests of the hotel.

3. Al Khabaisi Park
25,261621; 55,335819
This small Park is located at the south-western corner of the airport close to DXB Cargo Village. You can easily get there by short walk from Deira City Centre Metro Station. Park is a quiet place with benches and shadow from trees. On working days migrant workers usually use the park to take their lunch. Departures from 12R and 12L can be caught from here, but to make a photo of aircrafts departing from 12L, which is used mainly by flydubai, long focus lens is required. Spotting from the park is relatively safe because it is outside of the airport perimeter.

Safety
Aircraft spotting in UAE, and in Dubai Emirate in particular, is not understood and may be considered as dangerous activity. Try to keep a low profile at any time.

Example Photo Galleries

Location 1 Gallery

20160120b-DXB: Dubai International Airport

Location 2 Galleries

20160120a21-DXB: Dubai International Airport

20160122-DXB: Dubai International Airport

Location 3 Gallery

20160120c-DXB: Dubai International Airport 

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