Dubai’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) says it would prefer to partner up with a bank to finance the next stage of the $30bn Dubai World Central development that will be built around the Jebel Ali airport.

Aviation City is the next part of the project to be built and DCA is planning to finance the scheme by partnering with banks.

“I think that the best way to go about it and the thing that will keep us on our toes is to partner with banks, once we have satisfied the requirements in terms of establishing a business case and return on investment. In a way, the bank will be the financer,” Khalifa al-Zaffin, director of engineering and projects at Dubai’s Department of Civil Aviation tells MEED.

A number of contractors have also shown an interest in carrying out the next stage of the scheme on a build, operate, transfer basis, Al-Zaffin tells MEED.

A decision on how to finance Aviation City will be made later this year.

Due to the scale of the project itself and the budget required to execute it, the financing of later phases will be studied on a case by case basis.

“I don’t know about the rest of the project as a whole because that is a lot of money but we are looking now at just different components. The estimate now is $30bn,” says al-Zaffin.

Dubai has already invested Dh17bn ($4.6bn) so far in Dubai World Central. This investment has gone towards the construction of Al-Maktoum International airport, which is also known as Jebel Ali airport. The investments includes infrastructure on the south side of the airport, the runway, the logistics city and the control towers.

The first phase of Al-Maktoum International airport is scheduled to open in June for cargo operations (MEED 24:2:10). Passenger operations are expected to start by March 2011, says Al-Zaffin.