Dubai Airports is planning to start the expansion of Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central's (DWC's) existing passenger terminal later this year.
The expansion project is aimed at increasing the terminal's accommodation capacity from six million to 20 million passengers by 2018.
The airport would expand its check-in area, baggage and immigration halls along with its security screening areas, while the forecourt will be improved for easier access to the parking and drop-off areas.
Dubai Airports is carrying out the expansion to handle the increasing number of passengers travelling through the country every year, and ease rush at Dubai international airport.
The current project is a precursor to the $32bn project announced in September 2014 to create the world's biggest airport with a capacity of 200 million passengers a year.
Dubai Airports CEO Griffith was quoted by Zawya as saying that the company was in the final stages of drafting the design of the proposed expansion project.
Griffiths said: "With traffic growth continuing at a rapid pace, the expansion of the current facility at DWC will help us accommodate future demand while the construction of the $32 billion programme is in progress."
After completion of the project, the passenger terminal will have a total of 24 boarding gates, seven baggage reclaim carousels and 104 check-in desks.
Construction work is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2017, and the expanded facilities would commence operations once the airport authorities carry out the necessary testing and trial programmes.
In 2014, Dubai international airport overtook London's Heathrow airport as the world's busiest, by handling 70.4 million international passengers.
Dubai Airports that operates and manages both Al Maktoum and the Dubai International airport expects the latter to handle 78 million passengers this year.
Image: The expansion of Al Maktoum International will increase its termianl capacity to 20 million passengers by 2018. Photo: courtesy of Dubai World Central.