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NEWS Last modified on September 9, 2014

Massive expansion of Dubai World Central announced

The world’s biggest airport is set to be constructed after an AED120bn ($32 billion) expansion project of Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) was revealed.

Dubai Airports has welcomed the announcement made yesterday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and PM of the UAE and ruler of Dubai endorsing the development, which will ultimately be built to accommodate more than 200mppa a year.

The operator says it anticipates the development is the biggest airport project in the world and explains it will be built in two phases, covering an area of 56 square kilometres.

The first phase includes two satellite buildings with a collectively capacity of 120 million passengers annually, that will be able to accommodate 100 A380 aircraft at any one time and will take between six and eight years to complete.

More than its size, the new airport uniqueness is set to lie in a radically new approach to ensure that the latest technology and efficient processes will cut the time spent completing travel formalities and reduce walking distances, enabling passengers to make fast and efficient connections between hundreds of destinations worldwide.

The decision follows months of planning by the key stakeholders, including Dubai Airports, Dubai Airports Engineering Projects, Emirates airline and dnata, to ensure that a design was selected that facilitates the future growth of Dubai’s aviation industry.

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Passenger traffic is expected to reach almost 100 million at Dubai International by the end of 2020, and the further development of DWC is seen as a vital step towards providing the necessary facilities to accommodate traveller and cargo growth in the decades ahead, and pave the way for Emirates to relocate their intercontinental hub operations to DWC by the mid-2020s.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, thanked Sheikh Mohammed for his visionary support of the project, and described the new airport as a vital investment in the future of Dubai.

He confirmed the aviation sector was projected to remain a cornerstone of Dubai’s economy, and expects to support more than 322,000 jobs and contribute 28% of Dubai’s GDP by 2020.

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Griffiths, adds: “Our future lies at DWC. The announcement of this AED120bn development of DWC is both timely and a strong endorsement of Dubai’s aviation industry.

"With limited options for further growth at Dubai International, we are taking that next step to securing our future by building a brand new airport that will not only create the capacity we will need in the coming decades but also provide state of the art facilities that revolutionise the airport experience on an unprecedented scale."

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