His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, embarked on a tour of the Emirates Engineering Centre and Terminal 2 at Dubai International Airport.
Accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, as well as His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the tour aimed to review the progress of Emirates’ cabin refurbishment program and witness the operational excellence of Dubai International Airport.
During the visit to the Emirates Engineering Centre, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed observed various stages of the cabin refurbishment program, starting from the complete interior strip-down of an A380 aircraft to the installation of Emirates’ latest Premium Economy product and cabin interiors on a newly refurbished aircraft. His Highness also explored the advanced cabin workshops and witnessed a demonstration of aircraft safety slides deployment and testing. Sheikh Mohammed took the opportunity to meet with the highly skilled team of engineers and technicians responsible for the retrofit program, which employs over 5,500 individuals in Emirates’ Engineering division. Notably, UAE nationals constitute 60% of the workforce, with female talent representing nearly 20%.
The Emirates Engineering Centre stands as one of the world’s leading civil aviation maintenance facilities, equipped to service Emirates’ extensive fleet of 260 aircraft. Spanning an impressive 400,000 square meters, the state-of-the-art facility comprises 12 fully air-conditioned hangars, featuring the largest free-spanned structures in the Middle East, with roofs supported by single spans measuring 110 meters in length.
Emirates’ comprehensive retrofit program, representing a US$2 billion commitment, aims to ensure its products and services remain at the forefront of the aviation industry. Over a two-year period, the program will upgrade the cabin interiors of 120 Emirates aircraft. Each aircraft’s refurbishment currently requires approximately 21 days and more than 1,000 man-hours per day. This project is recognized as the largest known cabin retrofit endeavor in aviation, entirely executed within the UAE.
Since its commencement in November 2022, the Emirates Engineering Centre has successfully refurbished 14 A380 aircraft. As a result, Emirates has been able to introduce its Premium Economy product and enhanced cabin experiences on popular routes such as London Heathrow, New York JFK, San Francisco, Houston, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Christchurch, and Singapore. As the rollout of retrofitted and enhanced Emirates A380s with a four-class configuration accelerates, Premium Economy will be introduced on flights to additional global destinations.
Continuing the tour, Sheikh Mohammed and his delegation visited Terminal 2 at Dubai International Airport, which serves as the operational base for flydubai and caters to 18 other airlines. His Highness received a comprehensive briefing on the airport’s operations, including passenger procedures, preparations to handle increased travel during the summer holiday season, and efforts to manage the continuous growth in passenger volume. Sheikh Mohammed expressed his appreciation for the remarkable development of Dubai International Airport under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. He acknowledged its transformation into a major global aviation hub and its consistent ranking as the world’s busiest airport in recent years.
In 2022, Dubai International Airport accommodated over 66 million passengers, with more than 21 million passengers recorded in the first quarter of 2023, marking a significant growth of 55.8% compared to the same period in 2022. Sheikh Mohammed was updated on the services provided to passengers at Terminal 2 and the airport’s commitment to delivering a safe and comfortable travel experience for visitors from around the world.