Dubai’s new Al-Maktoum International Airport opens

October 28, 2013

Business, International

Dubai’s new Al-Maktoum International Airport opens

Al-Maktoum International Airport
Newly opened Al-Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, which will be the world’s largest once it is completed. Photo: AFP


The Gulf emirate of Dubai on Sunday opened passenger operations at its second airport, Al-Maktoum International, touted to be the world’s largest once it is completed.

A Wizz Air plane from Budapest was the first passenger aircraft to land at the sprawling new facility, and it was welcomed on the tarmac with a water cannon salute.

Jazeera Airways, another low-cost carrier, will follow suit on Thursday with daily flights to and from Kuwait, while Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air, will begin operations on December 8.

No other airlines have announced intentions to use the new airport, which lies some 50 kilometres south of Dubai International, one of the world’s busiest hubs for air passengers.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports, was confident that other companies would follow “in the coming months”.

He pointed out that 36 cargo carriers currently operate out of the new airport, compared to only two in 2010.

Dubai International handled 57 million passengers in 2012, as it has become a major stop for air traffic between the West, Asia and Australasia.

Al-Maktoum International was opened only for cargo in June 2010, while passenger operations were repeatedly delayed.

The new airport is situated in Dubai World Central, an economic zone the government hopes to turn into what it calls an “aerotropolis”.

Once completed, it is to feature five runways that will be able to handle an annual capacity of 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo.

It is built next to Dubai Jebel Ali Free Zone and its port, which is one of the world’s largest man-made harbours, and a major containers terminal.

It is part of a grand project announced during Dubai’s economic boom, but the pace of progress slowed during the financial crisis that hit the Gulf emirate in 2009.
The airport “will play a vital role in the future development of Dubai as a centre for trade, commerce, transport, logistics and tourism”, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports, said in a statement.

The new airport is not aimed at replacing Dubai International, where expansion work is continuing, at least not for the time being, according to Griffiths.

“If DXB (Dubai International) is to close, it isn’t a decision we have to make probably for the next 30, 40 years,” he told reporters.

Video: Al Maktoum International Airport opens new passenger terminal

Video: Direction to Al Maktoum International Airport

Dubai World Central

At the heart of DWC is the Al Maktoum International Airport. Built for the future, the airport once completed will have the capacity to handle 12 million tonnes of annual cargo capacity and 160 million passengers. The infrastructure required to accommodate four additional CAT III-certified runways capable of handling four superjumbo aircraft landings simultaneously, 24 hours a day, is already in place.

Phase 1 of the Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport is completed and fully operational. The international airport currently has the capacity to handle 600,000 tonnes per annum and operates 24 hours a day on an A380-compatible, 4.5 km runway. Facilities include 64 aircraft stands (10 of which are Code F), a state-of-the-art ATC Tower, fire stations, line maintenance services, a fuel farm and a 66,000 square meter, single-level passenger terminal.

Phase 2 of the airport, which includes the construction of an additional two automated and one non-automated cargo terminals, is currently under way. This is expected to increase the total cargo capacity at Al Maktoum International Airport to 1.4 million tonnes per annum. Concurrently, the groundwork for an exhibition area designated as the new permanent home of the Dubai Airshow beginning in 2013 is also in progress.


Dubai World Central

Dubai World Central

Dubai World Central


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Dubai World Central
The integrated master plan of Dubai World Central is comprised of eight districts: logistics, aviation, Al Maktoum International Airport, humanitarian, residential, commercial, leisure, exhibition and commercial. The centerpiece of the master plan is the Al Maktoum International Airport, which has the first of five planned runways completed and in operation. Around it, industry-focused districts take advantage of their close proximity to the airport to add unique facets to their value propositions. The logistics, humanitarian and aviation districts enjoy the added benefits of airside access while the exhibition district offers efficiency and cost savings due to its close proximity to the airport. Residential, commercial and leisure districts provide accommodation, office and entertainment options for people working at DWC and businesses that require frequent travel.

The development is strategically situated in the southern part of Jebel Ali, connected to the Jebel Ali Port via the Logistics Corridor. DWC provides direct access to two of the primary trans-emirate road networks (Emirates Road and the Dubai By-Pass). Additionally, DWC is a 15 to 30 minute drive from the heart of “new Dubai” with its five-star hotels, public beaches, world-class golf courses, shopping centers and a variety of high-end & affordable residential areas.

Source: Dubai World Central

Dubai World Central


Dubai International

Dubai International Airport

Dubai International Airport

Dubai International Airport

Terminal 1
Most major airlines arrive at Terminal 1 of Dubai International Airport.

Terminal 2
Terminal 2 is used mostly by airlines coming in from Iran, CIS countries and those operating chartered flights.

Terminal 3
All Emirates flights arrive at and depart from Terminal 3, the Emirates-exclusive terminal at Dubai International Airport.

Sharjah International Airport

Sharjah International Airport

Sharjah International Airport history goes back to 1932, when it was used as a stopover point by Imperial Airways – the forerunners of British Airways, who constructed an airfield at Sharjah as a stopover en-route to India and Australia. Today, Sharjah Airport is the Middle East region’s leading Air Transportation gateway. It is considered as the No.1 cargo hub in the region and it is increasingly becoming popular throughout the world as a favorite transit, departure and arrival point for passengers.

The most important factor is the strategic location, midway between the Far East and Europe. Even regionally, Sharjah is centrally placed between the commercial hub Dubai and the other Northern Emirates. Being only 15 minutes driving distance away from Dubai, Sharjah is ideally suited to cater to both markets.


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Dubai World Central

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