Dubai is to spend $32 billion expanding Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC), making it the world’s largest airport and increasing its ultimate capacity by 25 percent to more than 200 million passengers a year when it is complete.
Dubai Airports announced on Monday that HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had approved its plan to invest AED120 billion ($32 billion) expanding the emirate’s second airport.
Al Maktoum International Airport at DWC is expected to become the largest in the world and will be developed in two phases. Phase one will include two satellite buildings which will jointly be able to handle around 120 million passengers annually and accommodate up to 100 A380 superjumbos at any given time.
This first phase will take between six and eight years to complete and the project will cover an area of 56 square kilometers. It is anticipated the airport will ultimately be able to accommodate more than 200 million passengers a year when complete, a quarter more than the previous estimate of 160 million.
The announcement comes as passenger traffic continues to grow at Dubai International Airport and is expected to reach almost 100 million by the end of 2020.
“Our future lies at DWC. The announcement of this AED120 billion development of DWC is both timely and a strong endorsement of Dubai’s aviation industry. 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 that revolutionize the airport experience on an unprecedented scale,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
Griffiths added that the aviation sector was a vital part of Dubai’s economic growth and was expected to support more than 322,000 jobs and contribute 28 percent of the emirate’s gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of the decade.