Authorities in Dubai have approved the construction of what is being touted as the world’s biggest airport for approximately $32bn.
The announcement was made by UAE prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
As part of the project, the Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) will be expanded to accommodate approximately 200 million passengers every year.
The development work would be spread over an area of 56km2 and is expected to take between six and eight years to complete.
Expected to be carried out in two phases, the first phase will include two satellite buildings with a total capacity of 120 million passengers annually. It will also be equipped to accommodate 100 A380 aircraft at any one time.
The airport will employ a radical new approach to make use of the latest technologies and processes that will cut down the time spent by passengers for completing travelling formalities. Walking distances will also be reduced to increase connection efficiency.
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Some of the stakeholders involved in taking the decision were Dubai airports, Dubai airports engineering projects, Emirates Airline and dnata.
The passenger traffic is expected to go up to 100 million by the end of 2020. Keeping this in mind, authorities plan to further develop DWC to provide the necessary facilities to accommodate passenger and cargo growth in future and pave the way for Emirates to relocate their intercontinental hub operations to DWC by the mid-2020s.
Dubai airports CEO Paul Griffiths said that the aviation sector was expected to support more than 322,000 jobs and contribute 28% of Dubai’s GDP by 2020.
"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," Griffiths said.
"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."