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Dubai Airports reviewing long-term master plan, with emerging tech in focus

Dubai Airports reviewing long-term master plan, with emerging tech in focus
Al Maktoum International is planned to be the world's largest airport, with an annual capacity of over 250 million passengers.

Dubai - Development to ensure adherence to consumer trends, optimised investment to grow already significant contributions to Dubai's economy

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Sat 31 Aug 2019, 10:01 PM

Last updated: Sun 1 Sep 2019, 12:04 AM

Dubai Airports, which operates Dubai International and Al Maktoum International Airport, is reviewing its long-term masterplan, taking into consideration demand for passenger growth and economic expansion of local as well as regional economies.
"Dubai Airports is currently reviewing its long-term master plan to ensure infrastructure development takes full advantage of emerging technologies, responds to consumer trends and preferences and optimises investment to grow its already significant contributions to Dubai's economy," a Dubai Airports spokesperson said in a statement.
"The exact timelines and details of next steps are not as yet finalised," the statement added.
Bloomberg had reported that expansion at Al Maktoum International Airport, which is also known as Dubai World Central (DWC), has been stopped. The completion of the first phase of the airport - which was estimated at $36 billion - had already been pushed back five years to 2030 in October 2018.
Al Maktoum is planned to be the world's largest airport upon completion with an annual capacity of more than 250 million passengers.
Saj Ahmad, an analyst at London's StrategicAero Research, said it is no secret that DWC is a huge project on a scale not seen before.
"It stands to reason that development challenges alongside economic realities dictate the pace at which investment and expansion is needed and so it's prudent that Dubai Airports are not rushing the project, particularly when the current airport is more than adequate to cater for demand alongside its own current investment and expansion," Ahmad said.
"To that end, Dubai World Central has never had a finite or fixed target date."
Instead, the analyst said, its completion will mirror the needs of the wider Dubai/UAE economy alongside the ongoing strategic enhancements at Emirates and flydubai, both of whom are converging their businesses to better suit travel needs and stimulate demand between city pairs where services are either non-existent or limited.
"Dubai Airports is taking prudent and judicious steps not just to ensure long term growth ambitions, but also viability, competitiveness and attractiveness. Any assertion that Dubai World Central development is on hold or frozen couldn't be more wrong and speaks more about the ill-informed who make erroneous claims when the reality is totally different," Ahmad added.
UAE, S. Korea boosting civil aviation ties
Meanwhile, the prospects of promoting cooperation in areas of civil aviation were the main topic of discussion between UAE Ambassador to South Korea Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi, and Kim Hyun-mee, Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
This came during their meeting in Seoul here where they reviewed ways of propelling aviation cooperation between the two countries through the International Civil Aviation Organisation, as well issues of common interest, primarily ensuring mutual support for each other's candidate nominations for elections in international organisations.
The UAE ambassador lauded the existing level of collaboration between the two countries across all levels.
- waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

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