UK aviation authorities asked Dubai to introduce extra security checks to avoid it possibly being placed on the banned list, according to Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airport.
The US announced on Tuesday new restrictions on flights from airports in eight Muslim-majority countries, including the UAE, affecting Emirates and Etihad.
The restrictions apply to any device larger than a mobile phone, according to US officials, such as a laptop, tablet and portable DVD player.
The British ban only involves six countries, two of which – Lebanon and Tunisia – do not feature on the US list. Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar and UAE are on the US list, but not the British one.
Griffiths, speaking on Dubai Eye’s Business Breakfast show, said the UK requested extra measures to be put in place, instead of applying the electronics ban.
“The UK has responded in a different way,” Griffiths explained. “They are saying that what they require at the gate is more comprehensive screening measures, which we’re putting into place.”
He said the new measures are coming at the worst possible time for its US traffic, with the popular ‘spring break’ bringing extra passengers to the airport.
“This weekend is particularity difficult because we’ve got 1.1 million passengers going through for the four-day spring break weekend on Friday – 260,000 a day,” he said.
“It’s is very much business as usual for the airport, but just with that extra twist of having to take these extra precautions.”
Griffiths also revealed that during a discussion with Emirates president, Sir Tim Clark, they discussed options for those wishing to work on board the aircraft.
“What I would suggest, and this is one thing that I talked to Sir Tim [Clark] about yesterday is if it’s possible you can get these little fold-out keyboards that actually join with your Android or iPhone via bluetooth. They would be perfectly fine on board. You’ve almost got a laptop there,” he said.