Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) has awarded the local Tristar the contract to complete the enabling works for the $33bn expansion of Al-Maktoum International airport.

The contract covers earthmoving work for the entire 36 square kilometre site and will proceed the project’s other construction packages.

The next major contract that is expected to be awarded is for the development of infrastructure that will be used during the construction of airport expansion.

Contractors submitted bids for that contract in June. The works involve building site offices, roads, drainage and sewerage lines, and other utilities that will be used by firms working on the expansion.

For consultants, Lebanon’s Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners) is the frontrunner for the design and supervision of the passenger terminal building and other landside areas.

The ambitious upgrade to the airport will make it the biggest in the world by 2050 with the capacity to handle 255 million passengers a-year. The planned construction work includes the new terminal building, six nodes or concourses connected to the terminal by people movers, and new runways.

An expansion to the existing terminal at the airport is also under way. In March, DAEP awarded the local Alec the deal to expand the passenger terminal building at Al-Maktoum International. The contract involves expanding the airport’s built-up area from the existing 66,107 square metres to 145,926 sq m by June 2017.

The local Al-Naboodah Contracting was awarded an estimated AED275m ($75m) deal to complete the external works for the passenger terminal building expansion project.