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Dubai?s Al Maktoum International Airport to expand operations by 2020

The expansion of Al Maktoum International will lead to it becoming the largest airport in the world, covering an area of 56 sq km. (Image source: Dubai World Central)

Dubai will invest US$32bn to expand the newly constructed Al Maktoum International Airport, in order for the facility to accommodate 200mn passengers annually by 2020

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, has approved plans to expand the new airport, according to officials from Dubai Airports. The expansion could allow the country?s flagship carrier Emirates to shift operations to the new airport by mid-2020. It would also triple passenger traffic through the emirate.

The planned expansion would take place in two phases spanning six to eight years, with the entire development covering an area of 56 sq km, officials added. With the expansion, an additional 100mn passengers could be accommodated in the airport by the end of 2020.

Dubai International Airport, the emirate?s main airport, currently caters to nearly 75mn passengers. Traffic has been growing at double-digit rates and hit 66.4mn in 2013.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, 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.?