The $36bn expansion of Dubai Airports Company-owned Al Maktoum International Airport has been put on hold.
Approved in 2014, the expansion project is expected to make the airport the world’s largest in terms of size and passenger capacity.
Sources familiar with the development were quoted by Reuters as saying that the expansion is intended to increase its capacity to manage 120 million travellers per annum by 2025.
The sources did not reveal the reason for the delay.
State-owned Dubai Airports told the news agency that its aim was to “continuously” update masterplans for Al Maktoum International and main airport Dubai International “to embrace the latest thinking in technology, processes and customer-friendly service design principles.”
The capacity expansion is expected to ease pressure on the Dubai International Airport, which is expected to witness 100 million passengers by the end of 2020 and has limited scope for further growth.
According to the initial plans, the expansion work was supposed to be carried out in two phases over the next six to eight years.
Construction on the first phase of airport expansion commenced early last year and was supposed to be completed by the middle of this year.
Al Maktoum International has already faced delays. A smaller capacity increase is a year behind schedule and is expected to be completed this year.
It is set to improve the terminal’s passenger handling capacity from five million to more than 26 million a year.
Located in Jebel Ali, 37km southwest of Dubai, Al Maktoum International Airport opened in June 2010 and forms the main part of Dubai World Central. The airport covers an area of 14,000ha.
Due to delay, there is no deadline announced for the completion of the airport expansion project.