By Modupe Gbadeyanka Concourse D is marking its first anniversary on February 24 following a successful inaugural year that saw over 16.6 million passengers enjoy its customer-friendly design and top-flight retail and food and beverage offering. Concourse D, which represents the final major piece of infrastructure to be built at DXB as part of the $7.8 billion Strategic Plan 2020 programme, was a timely addition to the airport when it first opened its doors for passengers on February 24, 2016. The $1.2 billion facility became home to 60 international airlines that operate into DXB\u2019s Terminal 1 and connect it to 90 destinations around the world. The facility increased the annual capacity of the airport from 75 million passengers to 90 million. \u201cConcourse D is the outcome of a well-designed and meticulously planned project that was built around the evolving needs and expectations of our customers \u2013 the hundreds of thousands of passengers that pass through our airport every day,\u201d said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports; President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group. \u201cAfter a successful first year of operations, it is very clear that Concourse D has achieved its goal of delighting our passengers and our business partners.\u201d During the first year of operations, Concourse D welcomed 115,118 flights and an estimated 16,686,272* passengers while setting new heights in customer service. Concourse D has exemplified Dubai Airports\u2019 commercial strategy to design and deliver an integrated environment featuring walk-through retail, adjacent food and hospitality concepts, a comfortable central atrium and investment in the world\u2019s best airport Wi-Fi. It has also been a showcase for Dubai Airports\u2019 special events having hosted numerous musicDXB performances and Hang Out DXB engagements designed to surprise and delight passengers with prize giveaways, special discounts and interactive games. The new concourse has delivered an upgraded lounge experience with nine lounges spread over 6,926m2 and has surpassed expectations with over 3600m2 of F&B options that cater to all tastes and budgets including celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck\u2019s The Kitchen and the first Pret a Manger to operate in a Middle Eastern airport.