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New hub: Dubai is expanding Al Maktoum International Airport into a mega airport

New hub: Dubai is expanding Al Maktoum International Airport into a mega airport

Many were already talking about the ruin of investing. But Dubai is now significantly expanding Al Maktoum International Airport – bringing its capacity to 260 million passengers. It will replace the current airport within ten years.

Where once there was only sand, today there is the largest international airport in the world. Nearly 87 million people traveled abroad from Dubai International Airport or arrived there from abroad in 2023, according to figures from airport association ACI World. There aren't as many international travelers anywhere else.

But despite its rapid rise to become a global hub in recent decades, the Gulf emirate wants more. On Sunday (April 28), the Dubai government decided to expand Al Maktoum International Airport. The cost of the project, which revolves around building a new station, is 128 billion dirhams, or about 33 billion euros.

The first part is ready for habitation from 2034

Al Maktoum International Airport, also known as Dubai World Central and carrying the IATA code DWC, is not new. It was opened for cargo flights in 2010 and for passenger flights in 2013. But to this day it lives a mysterious life next to the emirate's large airport. Hardly any airline decided to shift its flights to it.

Local airlines Emirates and Flydubai do not do this. Until now, it has only played a role in the cargo sector and business jet traffic. Therefore, many people have already spoken about the ruin of investment. This happened especially after the expansion work that had already begun was halted.

Space for 400 aircraft

But now it's supposed to really happen. Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a statement that during the next ten years, Dubai International Airport’s operations will be completely transferred to the current airport number two. The first expansion phase is scheduled to be completed in 2034, increasing Al Maktoum International Airport's capacity from 26.5 million passengers today to 160 million passengers.

When completed, Dubai's new airport, with an area of ​​70 square kilometers, will have a capacity of 260 million passengers and twelve million tons of cargo. It will be five times larger than the current Dubai International Airport (IATA code DXB) and larger than any other airport in the world. It will accommodate 400 aircraft and has five parallel runways. Sheikh bin Rashid Al Maktoum also promises to use the latest technologies.

New territory everywhere

The project includes more than just a giant airport. Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that there are plans to build an entire city around it in which a million people can live. There will also be a commercial zone “in which the world's leading companies in the logistics and air transport sectors will be present.” “We are building a new project for future generations that guarantees the continuous and stable development of our children and their children. Dubai will be the airport, the port, the urban center and the new global center of the world.”

In the photo gallery above, you can see computer-generated images of what Al Maktoum International Airport will look like in the future. Clicking on the image opens the gallery in large format.