$32bn DWC scheme world’s biggest

The UAE, anticipating huge growth in trade and commerce, is readying the aviation side with a mega project

October 2014

The Dh120 billion ($32 billion) expansion of Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) is anticipated to be the biggest airport project in the world and will be built in two phases. The airport will ultimately accommodate more than 200 million passengers a year.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the project would effectively boost the aviation sector, especially in the areas of transport, cargo and investment, noting that it would further notch the UAE in general and Dubai in particular in the aviation industry map.

Sheikh Mohammed stressed that all the UAE ports would remain open to the world so as to view “our authentic Islamic and Arabic culture and sense the country’s tolerance as well as our achievements and local environment.”

The first phase of the project includes two satellite buildings with a collective capacity of 120 million passengers annually. It will accommodate 100 A380 aircraft at any one time and will take between six and  eight years to complete. The entire development will cover an area of 56 sq km.

More than its size, the new airport’s uniqueness lies in a radically new approach to ensure that  the latest technology and efficient processes will cut the time spent completing travel formalities and reduce walking distances, enabling passengers to make fast and efficient connections between hundreds of destinations worldwide, said Dubai Airports.  

The decision follows months of planning by the key stakeholders in the aviation sector, including Dubai Airports, Dubai Airports Engineering Projects, Emirates airline and dnata, to ensure that a design that facilitates the future growth of Dubai’s aviation industry is selected.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, thanked Sheikh Mohammed for his visionary support of the project, and described the new airport as a vital investment in the future of Dubai.

He confirmed that the aviation sector was projected to remain a cornerstone of Dubai’s economy, and was expected to support more than 322,000 jobs and contribute 28 per cent of Dubai’s GDP by 2020.

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