New Direction for Passenger Wayfinding at Dubai

Navigating through Dubai International Airport, UAE, has become easier following the installation of a new alpha-numeric system for gate numbering and wayfinding.
In response to extensive customer research and feedback, owner Dubai Airports, airlines, ground handling and control agencies operating at the airport applied the new system across all airport signage and computer support systems during an eight-hour window on September 18.
The change impacted everything from flight information display screens to boarding cards and airport reservation systems, and required more than 1,500 signs to be altered.  The signs were developed by Icon Prolab, who also acted as consultants for the entire project.
Hundreds of airport staff, including Dubai Airports’ ‘May I Help You’ personnel, were deployed across the airport to support customers during the changeover.
While Dubai’s three terminals retain their numbering, all concourses and departure gates have been renamed.  Concourse 1, which houses more than 100 international airlines, becomes Concourse C with gates numbered C1 to C50.  Concourse 2 becomes Concourse B with gates B1 to B32, and Concourse 3, the world’s first purpose-built A380 facility due to open next year, becomes Concourse A featuring gates A1 to A24.  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 Dubai Airports’ $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 which 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 wayfinding process.
(Image:  DXB)