Dubai has made a name for itself across the globe as a place where the impossible is made possible – a modern marvel of a city sprung from the desert as if a mirage.
Constructing an aerotropolis
Why is Dubai building not only the world’s largest airport but a city where the airport is the key to development? What makes this airport construction an important project to both Europe and Asia?
Dubai has a prominent track record of taking construction to the next level. The emirate is home to the world´s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, the world´s largest man-made island, The Palm Jumeirah, and the world´s largest shopping mall, the Dubai Mall. All of which are part of the Emirates’ transformation from a rural place in the desert some thirty years ago, to today´s cosmopolitan hub attracting both tourists and world citizens who call Dubai their home. Dubai is now on the threshold of the next leap of development.
In 2020, Dubai will host the next official World Expo. The Expo 2020 area is constructed side by side with the Al Maktoum Airport. In time for the Expo, the airport will be well into becoming the world´s largest airport. The goal is to construct an airport which is the key element in a new type of city development, the aerotropolis named Dubai South. When completed, Dubai South will be home to more than 900 000 inhabitants, and reachable within an eight hour flight to two-thirds of the world´s population. With its strategic position as Europe´s most easterly hub and Asia´s most westerly hub, Dubai strengthens its positions as a trade and logistic center.
Spirit Magazine lists some key figures from the project:
The Al Maktoum Airport, when completed, will be approximately ten times as big as Dubai International Airport, Dubai’s biggest airport today.
200 million passengers
When completed in 2050, the Al Maktoum airport will have the capacity to handle 200 million passengers per year. Today the airport is mainly used for cargo traffic, but with capacity to handle 7 million passengers.
16 million tonnes per year
Al Maktoum Airport will have the capacity of handling 16 million tonnes of cargo each year. The airport will be part of a logistic hub which links flight, sea and rail transportation.
Five parallel Code F runways
Five parallel Code F runways of 4.5 Km each in length spaced wide apart in order to provide for simultaneous quadruple parallel aircraft approaches. Code F runways are the largest runways. Many of today´s major airports are constructed with Code E runways.
32 billion US dollars
The development of Al Maktoum Airport is estimated to 32 billion dollars.
The expansion of the airport will be made in different phases. The current expansion will be completed by midyear 2018.
900 000 inhabitants
The airport is part of a larger project named Dubai South.
Sources: Dubai Airports, Airport Technology, Government of Dubai.