Dubai invests to prop up airport capacity

15 January 2017

Dubai International airport capacity stands at 92.5 million passengers a year

The Dubai government is investing AED5bn ($1.36bn) to enable Dubai International airport to handle up to over 110 million passengers annually over the next 10 years.

The airport reached capacity in 2015, but this was reversed when Concourse D opened in early 2016, taking capacity to 92.5 million passengers a year.

However,recent forecast showed the number of passengers passing through the airport could exceed 118 million by 2023.

Called the DXB+ Strategy, the plan is necessary since there is no more room for Dubai International to physically expand due to its location, and the expanded Al-Maktoum International airport is not ready until 2025 at the earliest.

The DXB+ Strategy entails enhancing all operational elements of the airport to keep up with the demand until the expanded Al-Maktoum International airport is ready, according to the Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects.

Dubai International is expected to accommodate 83 million passengers in 2016, up from 78 million in 2015. 

Ninety million of the 110 million passengers expected at the end of the period is to be accounted for by Dubai-based Emirates Airline alone. The airline carried 52 million passengers in its previous fiscal year ending March 2016.

The DXB+ Strategy complements the earlier AED22bn 2020 Strategic Plan, which aimed to prolong the life of the airport. It included the construction of Concourse D and the expansion of Terminal 2 back in 2013.

The DAEP has recently awarded between $300-$400m-worth of packages under the $33bn expansion of Al-Maktoum International.

Several packages including substructure packages that could fetch upto AED10bn are expected to be tendered in 2017.

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