Dubai’s new airport to handle 260m passengers annually

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

The CEO of Dubai Airports, Paul Griffiths, has stated that after the $35 billion Al Maktoum International Airport extension is finished, the emirate will be known as the best, largest, and busiest air passenger terminal in the world, handling 260 million passengers annually.

This was disclosed by Griffiths in an interview with Al Arabiya English, station that he envisioned the Middle East becoming an “increasingly important global hub” – thanks to mega-regional aviation expansion, including Saudi Arabia’s new airline Riyadh Air, and new airports in Riyadh and its giga project NEOM.

Plans for the second phase of Dubai World Central (DWC) – Al Maktoum International Airport were approved by Dubai in April. The goal of the expansion is to create a cutting-edge, modern airport that can accommodate 12 million tons of cargo and 260 million people annually.

It will feature multiple terminals with satellite concourses, 400 aircraft stands, five runways (four of which will operate independently), and “breakthrough technology that will ensure a seamless experience with significantly reduced walking distances between curb and boarding gates,” according to Griffiths.

The proposed airport is expected to be five times larger than its existing location, Dubai International Airport (DXB), which has been the busiest international airport in the world for the past ten years and is expected to handle 91 million passengers by 2024. Leading the post-pandemic recovery of the global aviation industry was made possible by DXB.

“Indeed, the plan is to move the entirety of operations at DXB to DWC, once the new airport is ready and has the required capacity to support the move,” he told Al Arabiya English. “Considering the size and capacity of the new airport, there will be no need or justification for us to operate and maintain two airports.”

Griffiths added, “By the time we move to DWC, we will be large enough in terms of traffic volume to justify the available capacity and the ongoing expansion of the new facility to its ultimate size of 260 million passengers per annum.”

Phase two of DWC will see the site expand to about 70 square kilometres, with advanced technology and airport experiences that currently don’t exist in the global aviation space, Griffiths said.


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