DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Dubai's airport authorities say a purpose-build concourse for Airbus' A380 aircraft is fully open after weeks of phased-in operations.

The aircraft is a double-decker that seats 525 people and is so large some airports have to be adjusted to accommodate it.

The 20-gate concourse, which hosted its inaugural flight on Jan. 2, is part of a wider $7.8 billion expansion plan for Dubai's international airport, which seeks to become the world's busiest by 2015.

The new concourse, formally unveiled Sunday, is also a boost for the European Airbus consortium in its rivalry with Boeing Co., whose 787 has been grounded since mid-January as investigators examine possible problems in its lithium ion batteries.

The Dubai-based carrier Emirates currently flies 31 A380s and has 59 on order.

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  • Passengers wait to board an Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft parked at the new Concourse A of Dubai airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. Dubai's airport authorities say a purpose-build concourse for Airbus' A380 aircraft is fully open after weeks of phased-in operations. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

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  • Passengers shop in the duty-free shop. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • Emirates Airlines planes wait for passengers at the new Concourse A of Dubai airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • An Emirates plane is parked at the new Concourse A of Dubai airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

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  • An Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft is being serviced and another taxis to a runway as seen through a window of the new Concourse A of Dubai airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • Passengers wait to board an Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft at the new Concourse A of Dubai airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

  • A laborer cleans a window at the new Concourse A of the Dubai airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)