Dubai’s ruler has approved further expansion of the emirate’s Al Maktoum airport, which will feature a new Dhs128 billion ($35 billion) terminal taking annual capacity to 260 million passengers.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s decision follows a review of the design and strategic plan for the airport.

“It will be five times the size of the current Dubai International airport, and all operations at Dubai International airport will be transferred to it in the coming years,” he says.

Al Maktoum airport, which will expand in parallel with the Dubai South urban development, will have five parallel runways – with quadruple independent operation – and four satellite concourses, along with 400 aircraft gates.

The facility will cover 70km² and, along with the passenger capacity, will have the ability to handle 12 million tonnes of cargo per year.

“It will host the world’s leading companies in the logistics and air transport sectors,” adds Al Maktoum.

Dubai Al Maktoum expansion-c-Dubai government

Source: Dubai government

Under the expansion plan Al Maktoum airport will have capacity for 260 million passengers

Dubai Airports chief Paul Griffiths describes the approval of the second phase expansion as a “bold step” which will create a “state-of-the-art airport that will provide a quick, convenient, and high quality 21st century experience for our customers”.

He points out that Dubai International will remain the city’s primary hub for the next few years.

“We will be actively collaborating with our airline customers, our strategic partners, the Dubai government, and our stakeholders to bring this visionary project to fruition,” he adds.

Emirates is the primary carrier at Dubai International. Its chief executive, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, says the initial stage of the airport’s construction, ready within 10 years, will accommodate 150 million passengers.

He states the expansion approval will prepare the emirate for the next 40 years, adding: “It will respond to the [airline’s] ambitious plans in terms of fleet acquisition and passenger growth.

“The airport will provide cutting-edge technologies, passenger facilities with unmatched level of service, and state-of-the-art aviation support facilities.”

Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects chief Suzanne Al Anani claims Al Maktoum will represent “a completely new approach to the concept of airports”.

“Exponential acceleration of technologies and the abundance of knowledge in innovation will make us reinvent the passenger journey and experience,” she adds.