Dubai opens one of the world's largest in-house airport PCR test labs

The 20,000 square foot lab can process 100,000 samples daily, providing results in just a few hours

Dubai opened one of the world's largest in-house airport labs for processing Covid-19 RT PCR tests at Dubai International Airport (DXB) as it looks to accommodate and accelerate the safe return of international travel.

The lab, a result of co-operation between Dubai Airports, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and lab operator Pure Health, can process 100,000 samples daily and provide results in just a few hours, according to Dubai Airports.

"As the world's busiest international hub preparing for a surge in passenger traffic over the summer holidays and beyond, we were keen to make sure that the airport journey is safer, smoother and faster while fulfilling the required health protocols," Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports, said.
The lab opening coincides with Dubai International Airport's plans to reopen its main terminal this week and hire about 3,500 people as it prepares for an expected surge in traffic during the coming months. About 66 airlines currently using Terminals 2 and 3 will gradually move their operations to Terminal 1 from June 24.

Located close to Terminal 2, the 20,000 square-foot laboratory is a dedicated facility for round-the-clock processing of RT-PCR test samples collected from passengers at DXB.

The lab is linked to government reporting platforms ensuring secure and easy sharing of information between health and regulatory authorities and airlines, according to the statement.

"The lab is a fine demonstration of Dubai's collaborative approach to tackling complex challenges and achieving great results," Sheikh Ahmed said.

The laboratory's capabilities will greatly help reduce waiting times for passengers arriving into Dubai and allow authorities to effectively implement relevant preventive and safety procedures, Awad Saghir Al Ketbi, director general of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said.

"As the largest lab operator in the country and an established healthcare provider, we are aiming to secure the safety of this nation's citizens, residents and visitors by contributing to a new standard of healthcare that benefits the people and communities around us," Farhan Malik, group chief executive of Pure Health, said.

The airport operator is targeting passenger traffic through Dubai International Airport to grow 8 per cent to 28 million this year as travel demand recovers, Dubai Airports' chief executive Paul Griffiths told Reuters on Sunday.

By autumn, 90 per cent of the 260 destinations served from Dubai airport prior to the pandemic could be restored, Mr Griffiths said, up from 63 per cent currently.