Aviation is expected to represent 32 per cent of Dubai’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, up from its current 28 per cent.

In the next nine years, aviation will generate $45.4bn towards GDP. It will also support 373,000 jobs, which is 22 per cent of the total jobs in Dubai, according to Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports.

Today, the aviation sector supports more than 250,000 jobs, 19 per cent of total employment in Dubai, and contributes $22bn towards GDP, which represents about 28 per cent.

By 2020, aircraft movements in Dubai will surpass 560,000 and total passenger traffic will climb to 98.5 million from the 47.2 million passenger figure recorded in 2010. Cargo volumes will increase to 4.1 million tonnes, up from 2.27 million tonnes recorded in 2010.

This will mainly be due to the start of passenger operations at the new Al-Maktoum International airport. By 2020, Al-Maktoum airport will have five runways and the capacity for 118 aircraft movements an hour, 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo a year.

Dubai Airports Company is also considering building a fourth concourse to increase capacity (MEED 4:5:11).

“We are just putting the final touches on a masterplan that contains additional efficiency and expansion plans to increase capacity yet again,” says Griffiths.

“By 2018, we plan to be able to accommodate 90 million passengers within our current land-locked site with our current two close-parallel staggered runways.”