• UK still waiting for Dubai to accept $2bn airport funding offer
  • Financing proposal was made in 2014
  • UK consultants have been in talks on the project

The UK is still waiting for a final decision for Dubai Airports Engineering Projects (DAEP) on the $2bn of export credit guarantees that have been offered to help fund the $32bn expansion of Al-Maktoum International airport.

The offer from UK Export Finance was made in 2014. According to sources at DAEP the offer has been well-received, although no final decision has been made on how the funding will be used.  

It is understood that the pressure to move forward with the project is intensifying as Dubai would like to make an announcement on progress with the project at the Dubai Airshow, which will be held at Al-Maktoum International airport and starts on 8 November.

If DAEP accepts the funding offer, the first companies that will be engaged with the project will be consultants. Sources at DAEP have confirmed that there have been talks with UK-based firms such as Mott MacDonald and Atkins. Other UK firms such as Arup and Turner Townsend already work for DAEP and Dubai Airports Company at Dubai International airport.

The expansion of Al-Maktoum International airport is Dubai’s largest single project. It was endorsed by Dubai ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum in 2014.

When completed, it will have the capacity to handle 200 million passengers a year, making it the largest airport in the world.

It will be built in two phases. The first phase includes two satellite buildings with a collective capacity of 120 million passengers a year, and capable of accommodating 100 A380 aircraft at any one time. It will take between six and eight years to complete. The entire development will cover an area of 56 square kilometres.

The development will provide the necessary facilities to accommodate passenger and cargo growth and will also allow Emirates to relocate their intercontinental hub operations to the new airport by the mid-2020s.

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