MIAspotter
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National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:35 pm

Hey all!

Haven´t seen anything posted here, but NG´s made a 10 series documentary on Dubai Airport, it shows a behind the scenes look at this 24 hour operation and the challenges faced.

it is very interesting.

Have a look here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVjSO_qobDc

MIAspotter.

P.D. mods, feel free to move this thread to the appropriate section of the forums.
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DexSwart
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:53 pm

I've been watching this closely an I'm on the 10th episode as of tomorrow!

It's an interesting show, but as per usual, there is a lot more drama added to regular going ons.

For example, during one of the episodes, a new A380 was late from maintenance and the narrator said that this one delay was going to effect EK for months or possibly years afterwards.

I actually like EK and love Dubai! It's a really nice show. Old though, the final episode is when Concorse A opens, so it was filmed mostly last year.

Cheers,

Francois.
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:11 pm

Quoting DexSwart (Reply 1):

I've been watching this closely an I'm on the 10th episode as of tomorrow!

Ohhh I am close behind... finished the 8th last night.

Quoting DexSwart (Reply 1):
For example, during one of the episodes, a new A380 was late from maintenance and the narrator said that this one delay was going to effect EK for months or possibly years afterwards.

LOL yup, that´s a bit too much really. But then again, what does ocassional Joe Traveller knows?

Quoting DexSwart (Reply 1):
I actually like EK and love Dubai! It's a really nice show. Old though, the final episode is when Concorse A opens, so it was filmed mostly last year.

It is a nice show, very informative specially on the maintenance and flight dispatch side. I only have one gripe and is with the two people in ¨charge¨ of constructing Concourse A, the UAE dude and the UAE lady, they are very bossy and I did not particularly liked the way they addressed and treated people, but then again that´s life for some in the UAE, not all that glitters is gold.

MIAspotter.
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DexSwart
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:55 am

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 2):
It is a nice show, very informative specially on the maintenance and flight dispatch side. I only have one gripe and is with the two people in ¨charge¨ of constructing Concourse A, the UAE dude and the UAE lady, they are very bossy and I did not particularly liked the way they addressed and treated people, but then again that´s life for some in the UAE, not all that glitters is gold.

Ah yes, I agree completely. I really likes how for the most part, they stuck with the average worker, not the CEO of the airport and so on. It gives a view of Dubai "from below" as the case may be. It really breakers through the veil.

Thanks for posting this topic, I was wondering why nobody posted anything about it earlier!

Francois.
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:12 am

Quoting DexSwart (Reply 1):

For example, during one of the episodes, a new A380 was late from maintenance and the narrator said that this one delay was going to effect EK for months or possibly years afterwards.

Well. . .

They do only have, what, 50 of them? Could be pretty serious  
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adamh8297
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:13 am

Just watched the episode where the Canadian couple got "bumped' from DXB-DEL for being "slow" to check in online.

Does EK have agreements with other airlines such as AI to get bumped passengers on other flights?

Example: I was bumped on NW PHX-MEM-BOS to US PHX-BOS once all done by the gate agent making a phone call.
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DexSwart
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:19 am

Quoting adamh8297 (Reply 5):
Just watched the episode where the Canadian couple got "bumped' from DXB-DEL for being "slow" to check in online.

Seems like NatGeo is ahead here in Australia.   

But I don't really think so. I mean, EK is a hyper competitive airline. Unless airlines have agreements with them about code sharing or so on, I highly doubt they'd send those people to another airline.
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9w748capt
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:21 am

Amazing what you can build when you pay your workers 50 cents a day. Oh yeah and no taxes either!
 
afterburner
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:47 am

Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 7):
Amazing what you can build when you pay your workers 50 cents a day.

Tell me that you're just joking.
 
skywaymanaz
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:31 am

Just watched the episode with the Hamid the Customs guy. Seems like a nice guy and with a smile disallowing you to bring anything in from another religion. "This is not Koran  This is not Koran  " It's their country and they can do what they want that way but seems a little at odds with being in a prominent position on the world stage. I don't have a problem though with taking some of the exotic foods coming thru. Even inside the borders of the US taking food, especially fruits, from one end of the country to the other can be an issue. California in particular has a legitimate need to protect their agriculture from pests and many nations have that concern about unsealed food coming in.
 
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DexSwart
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:06 am

Quoting skywaymanaz (Reply 9):
Seems like a nice guy and with a smile disallowing you to bring anything in from another religion.

Incorrect. "Black magic" is illegal in the UAE. If you rematch the video, you'll see he clearly states that he thinks it's black magic. It also contained verses from the Qur'an, which were all used in a way that traditional healers would use. That is not okay in Islam. And because the parchments the guy took in that seemed to be different to what they know of any religion they've seen, they decided it was black magic.

I've taken my Bible into Dubai and other ME countries with no problem at all. I've even attended church in Dubai. I've been with friends who've taken in books from many religions and they don't cause a problem.

Don't mean to be rude about it, but you should maybe do some research into the UAE's laws on Freedom of Religion. You'd be surprised. Or just actually listen to the narrator.
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gabrielchew
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:31 pm

Cool series so far (i'm on part 3 now). But why have they fuzzed out the "www.emirates.com" address on the side of the planes? I noticed it twice already, once on the 380 acceptance in Hamburg, the other on the A330 engine run. Odd.

Quoting skywaymanaz (Reply 9):
Just watched the episode with the Hamid the Customs guy. Seems like a nice guy and with a smile disallowing you to bring anything in from another religion. "This is not Koran This is not Koran "

It's interesting watching this after the Australian and NZ customs programmes. In DXB it's about things they wouldn't care about in Oz. I mean black magic, come on!
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:03 pm

I was pleased to hear that the crew and 'passengers' on the flight that had a burst tyre were OK...wait a minute, the aircraft had large 'Cargo' titles on the side....!
 
skywaymanaz
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:10 pm

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 11):
I mean black magic, come on!

Exactly! It's not my thing but it seems extremely intolerant. I actually did know a few things about the UAE before watching the series. They seemed to be very tolerant compared to their neighbors but there are definitely lines that still can't be crossed. I thought fuzzing the website made no sense too since the airline is already being "advertised" but probably some stupid fine print reasons with television advertising at play here.
 
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:11 pm

Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 7):

Amazing what you can build when you pay your workers 50 cents a day. Oh yeah and no taxes either!

I have only watched the first episode but have u seen the number of "western" expats working there? From British construction specialist to ozzie load master. Whilst it wouldnt surprise me if they got better may, I don't think anyone would allow them to earn 400% the wages of say indian workers (which would be $2 a day)

Great series thanks for sharing!
 
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:03 pm

A great series but at the same time a very subtle attempt to bring the focus of Emirates and DXB to the world, part of the great plan for the UAE to make Dubai a world hub and of course continue to bring tourism to the region, once all of their other resources of wealth have depleted. This is not the only show highlighting Dubai and it's over the top accomplishments to attract the world to the UAE.

Some of the delays and the subsequent consequences related to flights, planes and cargo seem a bit exaggerated, except for EK 414 to Sydney which must comply with strict deadlines...but even then lots of drama added in for good measure. Has a fully loaded EK 414 to Sydney ever been pulled off and passengers off loaded because they never made the pushback in time, I wonder? That flight is featured in Episode 1 and 8.

I am glad they do portray the Indian sub-continent workers, some of whom are treated with respect, which might not always be the case. And when addressed in English (sometimes with varying degrees of accents from the world over), do those poor guys even understand them, sometimes humbly acknowledging with a slight shake of the head. At the same time it's good that the "you do as I say" attitude of the UAE bosses are also shown and not sugar coated and made to believe it does not happen. And of course lots of exapts in senior positions, but you do see more and more Emiratis working there too, in support of the Emiratisation programme in the UAE in full force. Notice all Immigration and customs are purely Emirati including the very nice Hamid the customs guy. Don't you just want to have someone like him be your customs officer lol. So not a one sided view of the happenings at the airport.

I'm on episode 8 and have to say I do thoroughly enjoy it. Secretly hope I was there working at the airport, though anything outside of those glass enclosures in summer would be brutal. The main Operations centre is a place to die for, lucky all those guys that get to work in there.

Do people getting filmed randomly get approached beforehand that they are going to be part of a TV show? I'm sure nobody wants a TV camera and crew right in their face, especially sometimes after travelling for a long time, like that Canadian couple on their way to Delhi. I mean here there are privacy issues, not that reality shows don't take place, but what is the way they go about with this?
 
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:24 pm

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
Do people getting filmed randomly get approached beforehand that they are going to be part of a TV show? I'm sure nobody wants a TV camera and crew right in their face

I think there may just be some signs put up somewhere. After immigration and just before customs is where you can find them for Australian Customs. If people don't want to be shown they simply make it known to the camera crew.
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Flightsimboy
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:35 pm

Quoting DexSwart (Reply 16):
I think there may just be some signs put up somewhere. After immigration and just before customs is where you can find them for Australian Customs. If people don't want to be shown they simply make it known to the camera crew.

Good to know  . Will avoid those areas if I ever get caught up in one lol
 
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:42 pm

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
part of the great plan for the UAE to make Dubai a world hub

Its already a world hub

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
Has a fully loaded EK 414 to Sydney ever been pulled off and passengers off loaded because they never made the pushback in time, I wonder?

They would not wait for the 3-5 passengers.

Quoting vinniewinnie (Reply 14):
(which would be $2 a day)

What is cost of living in Dubai then for a normal apartment residence?
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:10 pm

Quoting adamh8297 (Reply 18):
Its already a world hub

That is what they would like to think and make others believe too...don't forget about Etihad and Qatar in the area lol...

Quoting adamh8297 (Reply 18):
What is cost of living in Dubai then for a normal apartment residence?

The conditions the poor labourers live in Dubai is appalling....it is not uncommon there for 4-6 to share a room, with even more in the entire apartment....Rents are very high in Dubai, which is why some chose to live in Sharjah and commute to Dubai to work....It is not even better for even others who have to face the high cost of living....There are just a lucky few who get accomodation, while the top brass get all the works.....

Quoting adamh8297 (Reply 18):
They would not wait for the 3-5 passengers.

So all that drama was purely for the episode....why make it sound like the flight will never take off when in essence they will go no matter what....purely for TV.
 
leonardoq
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:10 am

Geez, that Concourse manager thinks he is THE MAN... poor idiot...
that just makes me avoid Emirates or any of the ME3

[Edited 2013-11-13 18:18:30]
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:01 am

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 19):
So all that drama was purely for the episode....why make it sound like the flight will never take off when in essence they will go no matter what....purely for TV.

IMHO, the show accurately portrays the actual goings-on at an airport. There's enough drama already without having to add any for 'effect'.
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Flightsimboy
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:51 am

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 21):
IMHO, the show accurately portrays the actual goings-on at an airport. There's enough drama already without having to add any for 'effect'.

I'm not denying it does not portray the actual going on at an airport, it does which makes it so interesting....but to quote directly from episode 1 itself.....

"One of the tightest is EK 414 to Sydney, Australia. A strict night time curfew in Sydney, means the flight won't take off if it isn't going to make it there in time".

"Six minutes until the gate closes but eleven Glasgow passengers are still missing. If they don't show up in the next few minutes the Sydney airport curfew means the flight will be forced to leave without them or be cancelled".

"He's got seven passengers missing four in wheelchairs, and if he waits much longer the flight could be cancelled and 418 passengers offloaded. The airline might have to put them into hotels overnight and try get them on flights the next day"

Really, isn't that drama....they'd hold up 418 for a mere six passengers.  

Loved the Marshaling of the aircraft....

...signals the pilot to make the turn too soon, luckily the pilot ignores him ...

.....coming straight...no no no...straight, (he signals the pilot to turn left, then panics and signals the pilot to turn right )...no straight... straight...

Now that is reality and no drama there  

And finally "Failure is not a option here...this is Dubai". Love the confidence.
 
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adamh8297
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:01 am

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 19):
That is what they would like to think and make others believe too...don't forget about Etihad and Qatar in the area lol...

Compare the amount of airlines serving DXB to AUH/DOH. Its easily double the amount. The vast majority of countries in the world have a flight to DXB

Also DXB is an LCC hub for FlyDubai.
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Flightsimboy
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:17 am

Quoting adamh8297 (Reply 23):
Compare the amount of airlines serving DXB to AUH/DOH. Its easily double the amount. The vast majority of countries in the world have a flight to DXB

The question was it being a world hub, and it might be in it's own right...and my response was don't forget EY and QR, they have connections to most corners of the globe too, and not forgetting TK who is slowly becoming a hub of their own.....The point being there is more to aviation than just Emirates!!  
 
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:46 am

Loving the series so far; i've really wanted to go behind the scenes of an airport and see how everything works and stuff, so this series is doing just that  . I didnt know maintenance on these birds were so complex!! I dont mind that its all about DXB, its one of my favorite airports and EK is probably one of my top airlines (would love to fly them again but their fares have gone sky high   ).
 
Buckeyetech
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:58 pm

Thanks for the heads up about this series. My background has only been with military aircraft, so it's nice to see how ground operations work in the civilian sector. I was also intrigued to see what the demographics were of EK, considering that UAE doesn't have the population to support not only the amount of pilots required, but also the large number of flight attendants they need for all those A380's. I'm only up to episode 4 as of now, but it seems like they have quite a few pilots from the west.
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:32 pm

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 21):

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 19):
So all that drama was purely for the episode....why make it sound like the flight will never take off when in essence they will go no matter what....purely for TV.

IMHO, the show accurately portrays the actual goings-on at an airport. There's enough drama already without having to add any for 'effect'.

True, TV needs "drama" to sell, but at least the people being followed are talking in real terms. The Travel Channel's series about Miami follows workers who seem like they want to make everything more important/dangerous/threatening than it is. In the Dubai series, it's the narrator doing that. I watched all the Dubai episodes; I stopped watching MIA after three, and I'm not sure ho I got that far!
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directorguy
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:10 pm

I got hooked on the show after seeing the link here a few days ago. I'm now on Episode 6.
Before watching this show, I never knew how difficult it must be to balance the logistics-if one department fudges up, then this could impact everything else. On this show I see plenty of dedicated staff at DXB/EK and it really must be stressful having to deal with so many issues during one shift. I know that the next time I want to criticize DXB I'll think back to this series and remember how difficult some of these jobs must be.

The segments involving the construction of Concourse A are very revealing. You have the two token UAE citizens bossing everyone around (although I'm 99% sure the fierce woman in charge of engineering, Suzanne was not born there judging from her clothes, accent, and mannerisms) and enforcing the 'if you fail you're out' culture. One of the guys interviewed, the South African, mentions how whenever someone high up does a spot check, they only comment on the superficial shortcomings-reading between the lines, they usually don't have anything constructive to say. The blue-collar workers are just there, part of a tightly regulated system and are taken for granted, because they can't quit/not show up to work (they'd be fired and forced to leave). Basically all the UAE citizens who work at DXB are in management positions, except for the one engineer guy who fixed the baggage system way back in Episode 1. Those who work in positions that could be occupied by non-nationals are definitely paid more even if they're doing the same job.


I'd love to see them show some segments involving immigration. The UAE doesn't conduct an interview with arriving pax, pretty much stamp and go for everyone whether you need a visa or not-however I am sure they find people carrying fake passports/visas, people with criminal history in the country etc. Hope they show that at some point.
 
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DexSwart
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RE: National Geographic´s Ultimate Airport Dubai

Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:23 pm

Quoting buckeyetech (Reply 26):
I was also intrigued to see what the demographics were of EK

Something like 90 - 95% of the UAE is expatriate I believe. I can't recall the figures off the top of my head, though...
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