Ras al-Khaimah is planning to award the tender for the expansion of its existing international airport this year.

The project was first announced in 2012 and was put on hold in 2014. It was revived in mid-2015, although the list of prequalified contractors was not publicised.

Airport CEO Mohammad Qazi told media on 28 March that the firm plans to award the deal during 2016, with construction due to start in 2017.

The work comprises expanding the existing terminal’s capacity to 3.5 million passengers annually, from the current 1.5 million. It also involves the installation of baggage and cargo-handling facilities, among others.

Ras al-Khaimah is aiming to become a hub for low-cost carriers in the region. Air Arabia launched services from the northern emirate in 2014, the same year RAK Airways folded its operations.

Regional projects tracker MEED Projects estimates the expansion contract to be worth $100m.