Dubai leader outlines plans to create ‘world’s largest airport’

A new $35 billion airport in Dubai will become the largest in the world when it becomes operational, the Gulf state’s ruler has claimed.

Al Maktoum International airport will have a capacity of up to 260 million passengers a year – five times the size of the current Dubai International.

The Al Maktoum airport will include 400 terminal gates and five parallel runways.

The airport will be the new home of flagship carrier Emirates and sister low-cost airline Flydubai along with all airline partners connecting the world to and from Dubai.

An entire city will be built to support the demand for housing a million people.

All operations at Dubai airport would be transferred to Al Maktoum in the coming years in plans outlined on X, formerly Twitter, by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

He said: “Al Maktoum International airport will enjoy the world’s largest capacity, reaching up to 260 million passengers. 

“It will be five times the size of the current Dubai International airport, and all operations at Dubai International airport will be transferred to it in the coming years. 

“The airport will accommodate 400 aircraft gates and feature five parallel runways. New aviation technologies will be employed for the first time in the aviation sector.

“As we build an entire city around the airport in Dubai South, demand for housing for a million people will follow. It will host the world’s leading companies in the logistics and air transport sectors.

“We are building a new project for future generations, ensuring continuous and stable development for our children and their children in turn. Dubai will be the world’s airport, its port, its urban hub, and its new global centre.”

Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “The growth of Dubai has always been hand in hand with the growth of its aviation infrastructure and today we see another bold step on that journey. 

“The announcement of phase two of Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International airport’s (DWC) expansion, representing a substantial investment of AED128 billion, marks the start of a huge investment of resources by our many stakeholders in designing and building a state-of-the-art airport that will provide a quick, convenient, and high quality 21st century experience for our customers. 

“This further solidifies Dubai’s position as a leading aviation hub on the world stage.”

The existing airport will continue to serve as the primary hub, meeting the needs of 100 million-plus passengers over the next few years as development of the new site takes shape, he added.

“We will be actively collaborating with our airline customers, our strategic partners, the Dubai government, and our stakeholders to bring this visionary project to fruition,” Griffiths said.

Emirates said on X: “Thanks to the visionary leadership of Sheikh Mohammed, Al Maktoum International airport will ensure that Dubai continues to lead the global aviation sector for decades to come.”

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