World's largest airport, inter-emirate trains: 4 ways Dubai is building the city of the future

Dubai doesn't shy away from ambitious, futuristic development master plans


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Published: Tue 30 Apr 2024, 7:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 May 2024, 10:36 PM

Thirty years ago, nobody would have imagined that a small desert town would become a behemoth futuristic urban city, attracting millions of tourists and investors each year.

With revolutionary and visionary projects regularly up its sleeve, the city doesn't shy away from ambitious, futuristic innovations.

Here are some of the ways in which the city shows its commitment to being a force at the forefront of metropolitan developments:

1. World's largest airport

Dubai, a city of well-lit skyscrapers and bustling crowds, is also home to the world's largest airport Al Maktoum International (DWC).

The second phase of the airport’s expansion was announced on Sunday (April 28).

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After completion, it will be five times the size of the Dubai International Airport (DXB). Once fully operational, AMI will be able to accommodate up to 260 million passengers yearly, which will only help boost the city's tourism even more.

Travellers are in for a treat since the airport will use technologies never before used in the aviation sector.

The new airport will span 70 sq km. It will have five parallel runways and five passenger terminals housing more than 400 aircraft gates.

Within 10 years, it is expected that all operations of DXB will be gradually transferred to DWC.

2. Faster travel on the tracks

Dubai residents love to travel out of town especially during public holidays.

Now, with the highly anticipated Etihad Rail passenger train almost ready for operation, it’s going to make travel between the Emirates faster and easier.

The passenger train will allow residents to travel with ease and comfort as it connects 11 cities and regions across the UAE, making it more convenient. It will stretch across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the areas of Al Sila and Fujairah including Al Ruwais, Al Mirfa, Sharjah, and Al Dhaid.

The Etihad Rail website says construction of the UAE’s National Rail Network is now complete with commercial operations in use.

3. Flying taxis to shorten Abu Dhabi-Dubai travel time

Nobody would have thought that flying vehicles could exist outside fiction. Dubai, however, knows just how to turn fiction into reality.

Flying taxis will be available soon, and will cut travel time between Abu Dhabi and Dubai to just 30 minutes.

Joby Aviation, a US-based company developing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger service, is expected to start operations of air taxis by 2025 or early 2026.

4. The 20-minute city

This initiative allows residents to reach their destinations within 20 minutes on foot or by bicycle through sustainable pedestrian, bicycle and transportation trips across the city.

The Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan places 55 per cent of the residents within 800 meters of mass transit stations, allowing them to reach 80 per cent of their daily needs and destinations.

Meanwhile, to accommodate commuters who don't drive, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) updated its strategic plan for 2024-2030.

RTA’s plan is designed to facilitate the development of roads and transport systems that would make living in the 20-minute city more convenient.


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