Dubai shares project update on building the world’s biggest airport

It'll be twice the size of Dubai DXB.
  • Dubai has several airports, but the main ones are Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Al Maktoum (DWC)
  • Dubai wants to turn DWC into the largest in the world
  • At full capacity, they aim to welcome as many as 160 million passengers every year

Published on Mar 1, 2024 at 1:26PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Mar 1, 2024 at 6:21PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Adam Gray

Dubai International Airport is one of the busiest and most important hubs in the world.

But now the UAE has plans to make another lesser known Dubai airport even bigger than that.

The image above is mockup created with AI by supercarblondie.com

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Dubai has a few airports, but the two main ones are Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC).

When DWC first opened, located about 20 miles southwest of downtown Dubai, authorities knew it would play second fiddle to DXB – but they had a different vision in mind.

They want to turn it a futuristic hub and the world’s largest airport, capable of handling 160 million passengers per year and 12 million tones of freight.

That’s an ambitious goal.

To put that in perspective, 160 million passengers is around 60 million more than the world’s current busiest airport, Hatsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, could handle in 2022.

More to the point, it is nearly double the number of passengers that DXB currently averages.

For the time being, DWC is mostly home to a handful of low-cost carriers that fly to and from Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia – but that’s going to change.

Even though no exact timeline has been provided, the idea is to complete the first steps in the next decade.

DWC will not only be the busiest and largest, it will also be different.

Speaking to Business Traveller, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said they’re also aiming to change the paradigm.

“We are not planning an airport that has terminals,” he said.

“We’re going to completely change the business model for airports, make them actually far more intimate, and get rid of all the legacy processes that we’ve had to subject our customers to, for far too long.”

Airports are becoming somewhat of a business card, like a header image, for countries.

There are main global hubs revamping theirs, or building new ones to accommodate new types of aircraft such as the flying car or a larger-than-usual number of private jets.

And it makes sense – no matter where passengers are headed, a country’s airport is the first place they’ll see, by definition.

The lead image for this article was generated with AI.

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