Dubai: All operations at Dubai International airport to be transferred to Al Maktoum

Set to be five times the size of DXB, Al Maktoum International will span 70 square-km


Sahim Salim

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Exterior design of Al Maktoum International Airport. Photo: Supplied
Exterior design of Al Maktoum International Airport. Photo: Supplied

Published: Sun 28 Apr 2024, 1:17 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 May 2024, 10:37 PM

All operations at Dubai International (DXB) will be transferred to Al Maktoum International (DWC) over the next few years. A new Dh128-billion passenger terminal at the DWC announced Sunday will scale up passenger capacity to 260 million annually and “fully absorb” DXB’s operations in 10 years.

The announcement marks phase two of the airport’s expansion. DXB will continue to serve as the primary hub “meeting the needs of 100 million plus guests over the next few years as phase two of DWC takes shape”, the operator of both airports said in a statement.

Dubai-based Emirates Airline called the airport its "future home" as it shared photos of the DWC.

Set to be five times the size of DXB, the airport will span 70 square-km once fully operational. It will have five parallel runways and five passenger terminals housing more than 400 aircraft gates.

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In November last year, a top official had revealed plans to replace DXB — which is the world’s busiest airport — with a bigger one. Initial forecasts suggest that DXB’s traffic will surpass 88.8 million passengers in 2024.

“Al Maktoum International Airport will enjoy the world's largest capacity, reaching up to 260 million passengers,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. “New aviation technologies will be employed for the first time in the aviation sector.”

With the emirate building an “entire city” around the airport in Dubai South, demand for housing for a million people will follow, said the Dubai Ruler. “It will host the world's leading companies in the logistics and air transport sectors … Dubai will be the world's airport, its port, its urban hub, and its new global centre.”

The first phase of the project is expected to be ready within 10 years with a capacity to accommodate 150 million passengers annually.

“Al Maktoum International will comprise five parallel runways with a quadruple independent operation, west and east processing terminals, four satellite concourses with over 400 aircraft contact stands, uninterrupted automated people mover system for passengers, and an integrated landside transport hub for roads, Metro, and city air transport,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group.

It will “prepare the ground” for the next 40 years of anticipated growth in Dubai’s aviation sector.

Economic benefits

Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, said the airport will generate estimated workforce and residential requirement for over a million people living and working in Dubai South “which has been under development and operation since 2007”.

DWC first opened in 2010 for cargo operations followed by passenger flights in 2013. It will contribute to mitigate environmental emissions.


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