Dubai is set to overturn the traditional approach to airport design with the planned expansion of the new Al-Maktoum airport at Dubai World Central (DWC), which opened to the public on 27 October.

The new terminal has a capacity of 5-7 million passengers a year, and its operator, Dubai Airports, wants to increase capacity to 160 million passengers by the 2020s. The additional capacity is needed to help alleviate pressure on the increasingly congested Dubai International airport.

The expansion masterplan is looking at the use of non-traditional methods that do not revolve around building large, vacuous and expensive airport terminals. It is a move that could make Dubai an even more appealing place to visit or use as a transit hub.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports, says the masterplan will look for innovative ways to quickly and efficiently process a large number of passengers through the airport, such as the use of remote check-in options. Large airports, although they might look impressive, can make travel tiring and stressful for passengers, and add time to the overall journey.

If the design for Al-Maktoum’s expansion can provide the much-needed additional passenger capacity, as well as ensure the passenger experience is as comfortable and hassle-free as possible, Dubai will only further strengthen its position as a tourism and transport hub.