| 14.9°C Dublin

Ready for take-off

It's the glistening glass gateway to Europe, the US and beyond -- and the Herald can reveal that a contemporary heaven awaits passengers in Dublin Airport's swanky new Terminal 2.

Not everyone can afford to fly first class but it seems the goal is for every passenger to enjoy a premium pre-travel experience when the Pascall & Watson-designed terminal officially opens later this week.

The Herald was given an exclusive sneak peek at the super-slick new building, which will welcome its first flight from Britain shortly before midday tomorrow.

Final preparations are well under way in the 75,000sqft magnificently stylish structure, which has created 500 new jobs at the Collinstown depot.

There are thousands of glittering lights, 1,400 new short-term car-parking spaces, six huge lifts, dozens of escalators, including Ireland's tallest ever, eight passport control huts and 14 security sections.

But the spot likely to get most people taking has been labelled 'The Loop'. Billed as a new shopping experience, the jam-packed zone of affordable luxury is ready to greet passengers, just metres after security.

Some well-known brands are there with shops including Jo Malone, Kurt Geiger, LK Bennett and Hugo Boss.

Communications manager Siobhan Moore told the Herald: "We wanted to offer value for money, very good products and areas that keep with the style and aesthetics of the building. Everything is 20-25pc cheaper than down town."


Another small shopping zone awaits passengers who have just touched down. "We call it the Guilt Shop, because it is beside the arrivals exit so it's great for people who didn't get time to pick up perfume or forgot to get a gift and it's still cheaper than town."

But the plush terminal isn't all about spending.

The second floor has the first 'Multi-Faith Room' in an Irish airport, which will enable religious passengers to meditate.

And a major emphasis has been put on making it easy to navigate the terminal.