The recent Dubai airport will likely be five times larger than the present one

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Dubai's leadership approved a 128 billion dirham ($35 billion) plan to construct a brand new passenger terminal on the emirate's Al Maktoum International Airport, making it five times larger in area than Dubai's most important international airport – and the most important on the planet.

“Al Maktoum International Airport will have the world's largest capacity and will be able to accommodate up to 260 million passengers,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, said in a press release on Sunday.

For comparison, Dubai International Airport handled 86.9 million passengers in 2023, the second highest on the planet after Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport within the United States

All operations at Dubai International Airport, currently the world's second-largest passenger airport, will likely be relocated there in the approaching years, the statement said. The recent airport may have 400 gates and five parallel runways. “New aviation technologies are being used in the aviation sector for the first time,” it said.

The Dubai Media Office released digital renderings of the planned airport, showing futuristic images of sprawling airport infrastructure, massive terminals and space-age-esque design.

The airport will likely be situated in Dubai South, on the southern end of the UAE's glittering industrial capital, where real estate and logistics developments are underway. An entirely recent city will emerge across the airport, which Dubai's ruler says will create demand for housing for 1,000,000 people.

Dubai's current most important international airport is situated on the northern end of the emirate, which is more likely to lead to dramatic changes in traffic patterns and travel plans for travelers once the brand new travel hub is fully operational.

The recent city across the airport “will house the world's leading companies in logistics and air transport,” said Sheikh Maktoum. “We are building a new project for future generations, thereby ensuring the continuous and stable development of our children and their children. Dubai will be the world’s airport, its port, its urban hub and its new global center.”

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO of Dubai's flagship airline Emirates, posted pictures on X of himself with the ruler of Dubai discussing plans for the brand new developments.

“Al Maktoum International will be the new home of @emirates, @flydubai and all airline partners connecting the world to and from Dubai,” he wrote, referring to Emirates Airline and its low-cost subsidiary FlyDubai.

“We are investing to deliver the best future travel experiences and logistics capabilities in the world, contributing to Dubai’s D33 economic agenda.”

Dubai's D33 agenda goals to double the town's economy by 2033, attracting more investment, talent and economic diversification.

Al Maktoum International Airport, also called Dubai World Central (DWC), will cover an area of ​​27 square miles when accomplished. In addition to the planned capability of 260 million passengers per 12 months, a capability of 12 million tons of freight per 12 months can also be targeted.

The “first phase” of the project is anticipated to be accomplished inside 10 years and may have the capability to accommodate 150 million passengers per 12 months, Emirates CEO said.

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