Dubai considers restarting $33bn expansion of Al-Maktoum International airport to become world’s biggest airport by 2050

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MEED reported that Dubai is contemplating restarting its largest construction project, the expansion of Al-Maktoum International airport, according to sources familiar with the matter. The AED120 billion ($33 billion) development, also known as Dubai World Central (DWC), was established in June 2010 for cargo operations and in October 2013 for passengers. The airport aims to become the world’s largest airport by 2050, capable of accommodating up to 255 million passengers annually. The first phase of the project will increase the airport’s capacity to 130 million passengers per year, and the overall development will span 56 square kilometers, with completion expected by 2030. Officials are presently discussing the project, and potential stakeholders have been encouraged to prepare for a restart, which would help the emirate’s economy, which is not currently generating as much construction work as before. The expansion’s prospects have been boosted by a surge in traffic numbers, particularly since Dubai International airport accommodated 66.1 million passengers in 2022. 

Dubai is anticipating roughly 78 million passengers to utilize the airport this year, with a return to pre-pandemic levels expected in 2024. During the Covid-19 epidemic, progress on the Al Maktoum International airport project stalled after firms competed for the estimated $2.7 billion substructure contract for Concourse 1 and the West Terminal building, the project’s most significant tender. The contract includes more than 1.7 million sqm of connected basement footprint, with amenities such as people-mover tunnels, baggage handling systems, ground services road networks, and back-of-house technical and support facilities.