Dubai’s Al Maktoum expansion ‘be to completed by Q1 2022′

By Staff

The expansion of Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport – to make it the world’s biggest – will be completed by the first quarter of 2022, according to a senior official.

Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman, Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC), said the expansion will increase the airport’s annual passenger capacity from the current five million passengers to 130 million.

In comments published in the July edition of Via Dubai, the official newsletter of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), he said: “Our current aim for Al Maktoum International Airport is twofold – to attract more airlines to operate from the airport and ease passenger traffic at DXB until such time that Phase 1 of the new airport is ready.

“In that context, AMIA is currently undergoing an expansionary phase that will see its annual passenger handling capacity rise from the current five million to seven million by early 2016,” he said.

Last September, it was announced that Dubai is to spend $32 billion expanding Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC), making it the world’s largest airport. More info

Hilton to open hotel by Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport


Hilton Dubai World Central will be located close to the main passenger entrance to the Al Maktoum International Airport and to the Dubai Expo 2020 venue. It will stretch over seven floors and is expected to open in 2019.

The hotel’s conference facilities will include a large multifunctional ballroom, eight meeting rooms and six boardrooms. It will also feature a spa and wellness centre, fitness centre and two swimming pools.

It will have an all-day dining restaurant and guests will also be able to use other restaurants in the surrounding development. More info

GCC expenditure on track for $172 billion projects in 2015

By Issac John

Dubai: Underpinned by huge cash reserves, GCC countries will continue to spend on an estimated $172 billion worth of infrastructure and capital projects planned and under way in 2015 — the highest on record to date, Deloitte said.

“The GCC countries have the benefit of huge reserves built up as a buffer over the years, and which they can continue to use to achieve their outlined strategies. They are expected to continue to spend on infrastructure and capital projects in order to achieve strategies for diversification,” said Deloitte Middle East’s newly released annual report: ‘GCC Powers of Construction 2015: Construction — the economic barometer for the region’.

Out of the $2.8 trillion projects which are in execution and pre-execution phases across the GCC, the forecast of $172 billion worth of projects this year is against a backdrop of lower oil prices, continuing political unrest and reduced International Monetary Fund growth forecasts across the GCC, said Cynthia Corby, audit partner and leader of the construction industry for the Middle East.

The Deloitte report is based on data gathered from surveys and supported by interviews with some of the most prominent construction industry leaders from the region.

UAE’s Al Maktoum International Airport expansion, budgeted at $32 billion and billed as the biggest airport in the world, is the first among the GCC projects by cost. The $20 billion industrial project in Abu Dhabi for Tacaamol Al Gharbia Chemicals Industrial City is the second largest project. More info

Dubai airport’s passenger growth to hit 200 million

By Ahmed Shaaban

Dubai — The Dubai International Airports, with planned $7.8 billion investment that will lead to an ultimate capacity of 100 million passengers a year, has revised growth projections from 103 million to 126 million passengers by 2020, and 200 million by 2030.

Such an unwavering vision has been adopted to build not just an airport but an engine of economic growth and vital to the growth of the city, according to a top official.

“Our revised projections for 2020 — was 103 million — now exceed 126 million passengers. By 2030, we expect to have around 200 million passengers traffic, without further infrastructure development or space to build,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

Further in his presentation ‘Building the Future’, at the 4th session ‘Future of Airports’ of the two-day Future of Border International Conference, he said they were all set to come up with other solutions to satisfy Dubai’s continued thirst for growth. “In Dubai, we are building, not talking about building.”

Offer the best to passengers and people will fly with you: Shaikh Ahmad

By Alexander Cornwell, Staff Reporter

Dubai: Emirates airline President Tim Clark, refuting claims by America’s biggest carriers that the major Gulf airlines benefit from billions in state subsidies, said on Wednesday the US government should not be persuaded by a “non-representative vocal minority”.

American, Delta and United, reportedly lobbying the US government to alter or terminate its open skies agreement with Gulf states, allege Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have benefited from loans, tax exemptions and other support totaling $40 billion (Dh147 billion) since 2004. The US airlines claim the state subsidies are in violation of America’s trade policy.

Clark said changing the open skies agreement, which allows Emirates to fly to any point in the US from its Dubai hub, “makes absolutely no sense. And this at a time when the overarching requirements of the Middle Eastern geopolitical calculus requires relationships to be cemented, not fractured.”

Etihad Airways declined to comment on Wednesday on the US carrier claims. Qatar Airways did not respond to a request to comment.

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Clark questioned how the three US airlines, which he mentioned had all benefited from the US’ chapter 11 bankruptcy law that allowed them to restructure and cut costs, reached the $40 billion figure. More info

UAE, the most connected country in the region: Report


Dubai — The United Arab Emirates is the most connected country in the Middle East and North Africa as it is ranked 12th out of 140 countries worldwide, jumping six places since 2013, according to the third edition of the Global Connectedness Index, GCI, report by DHL.

The report documents that global connectedness, measured by cross-border flows of trade, capital, information and people from 140 countries, has recovered most of its losses incurred during the financial crisis.

The depth of international interactions – the proportion of interactions that cross national borders – gained momentum in 2013 after its recovery had stalled the previous year.

Nonetheless, trade depth, as a distinct dimension of globalisation, continues to stagnate, and the overall level of global connectedness remains quite limited, implying that there could be gains of trillions of US Dollars if boosted in future years. More info

Video: Emirates catches A380 Cricket World Cup fever


With just two weeks to go until the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, has unveiled the first of its aircraft that will feature the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Logo.


The Emirates Airbus A380 recently set off to Australia and New Zealand, and is the first of a number of “specially-dressed” Emirates aircraft that will fly around the globe, celebrating this major event with cricket-lovers and uniting fans around the world.

Emirates has been the official partner of the International Cricket Council since 2007 and all its major tournaments including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

In partnership with the ICC, Emirates also sponsors the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Match Referees.

Cricket has provided Emirates with a powerful platform to connect with fans and communities across Asia, Australasia, South Africa and the UK. More info

Dubai’s global airline ambitions


For Indian travellers who regularly fly to Dubai or stop over there for transit flights, the travel experience may change in the next five to seven years. You will get immigration, check-in and baggage handling details on your smart phone.

In case you live in Dubai, you can complete these formalities at one of the stations of the suburban train service; and board a train right into the terminal. The present Dubai International Airport (DIA) may be the favourite among shoppers, but imagine how many shops will find place in an airport where each concourse is the size of seven football fields!

These are some of the features that Dubai wants to introduce as it expands its second airport, Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central. To be built at a cost of $32 billion, the airport is an extension of the city’s global ambitions. And that ambition has become bigger with a turnaround in its economy in 2014, after it was hit by the 2008 global meltdown.

So if one thought that DIA, the city’s first airport, has already touched the peak after ending 2014 with 71 million passengers – making it the busiest airport in the world – the Al Maktoum International will take it to the next level. It will start with handling 120 million passengers a year, which will eventually double to 240 million. But don’t be overawed by the size. A flyer will never have to walk more than 500 metres to get to the boarding gate. More info