Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has agreed to earmark $32 billion for a two-part expansion of the Al Maktoum International airport at Dubai World Central (DWC).
Dubai International, is without question, the primary airport in the region and in the UAE with traffic expected to reach 100 million people annually by the end of this decade. In addition, to the 100 million passengers, the airport will be able to handle 100 Airbus A380 “Superjumbo” aircraft at any given time.
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Dubai’s Al Maktoum International airport two-part expansion
The two-part expansion would allow the airport to handle over 200 million people annually upon completion. That is around three times the current passenger traffic that the emirate currently sees each year.
“With limited options for further growth at Dubai International, we are taking that next step to securing our future by building a brand new airport that will not only create the capacity we will need in the coming decades but also provide state of the art facilities…” said Paul Griffiths, Dubai Airports’ chief executive.
The expansion would allow its rapidly expanding flagship carrier Emirates to move its operations to the new facility sometime in the mid-2020s, which could prompt other international carriers to follow given business ties to the Emirates group.
QUANTAS moved its European transit hub to Dubai late last year. The aviation industry is a huge part of Dubai’s economy and is expected to represent around 28% GDP by 2020 while supporting around 322,000 jobs.
20 square miles of “efficient processes”
Presently, Al Maktoum International Airport has a capacity of around 5 million passengers per year, so this is nothing short of a massive expansion. Al Maktoum only began receiving passengers in October of 2013 after opening four years behind schedule owing to the financial crisis that reined in a number of Dubai’s planned mega-projects.
The expansion will be done in two phases with the first phase including two satellite buildings that would bring capacity to 120 million passengers each year within six to eight years of groundbreaking.
At completion, the airport would be comprised of over twenty square miles.