The northern runway at Dubai International Airport reopened on Wednesday before a summer surge in which millions of people will pass through its terminals.
The runway upgrade started on May 9. The work involved resurfacing the entire 4.5-kilometre northern runway, strengthening the wider runway strip, reinforcing the paving on major taxiway points, and repairing drainage.
Ground lighting, navigational aids and meteorological equipment were also replaced — and a navigation aids substation was relocated.
On Thursday, airport officials said they were bracing for one of the busiest periods in the calendar.
In the 11 days from June 24 to July 4, up to 2.4 million passengers will pass through the airport, an average of 214,000 per day, a statement said.
July 2 will be the busiest day with at least 235,000 passengers.
Similar numbers are expected during the Eid Al Adha weekend of July 8 and 9, which is expected to be a public holiday in the Emirates.
At Terminal 1, used by dozens of airlines, passengers should arrive at least three hours before their flight.
At Terminal 3, which is dedicated to Emirates and Qantas, travellers are advised to use self-service check-in desks where possible.
Runway ready for take-off
More than 400 engineers and experts and about 3,800 people were involved in the project.
The airport's Twitter account celebrated the completion of the project by posting pictures of the first flight to take off from the runway after its reopening.
“And that's a wrap! The Northern Runway Rehabilitation programme is now complete and DXB is back to a dual-runway operation,” the airport tweeted.
Dubai International Airport, one of the world's busiest, is the base for long-haul airline Emirates and discount airline flydubai.
The last time this level of work was carried out on the northern runway was in 2014. In 2019, the site closed its southern runway from April 16 to May 30 for resurfacing and replacement of ground lighting.
While the runway work was under way, the emirate's second airport, Dubai World Central (DWC), handled more than 1,000 flights from several international airlines, including flydubai, SpiceJet, Indigo, Gulf Air, Air India Express and Qatar Airways.