Dubai is getting the world’s biggest airport

A rendering of the terminals tweeted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Dubai has started building the world’s largest-capacity airport terminal complex at Al Maktoum International, the emirate’s prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said yesterday.

The five terminal buildings will cost $35bn and would be five times the size of Dubai International Airport.

The additions will let Al Maktoum handle up to 260 million passengers a year.

The world’s busiest airport now is the US hub at Hartsfield–Jackson in Atlanta, which has an annual throughput of almost 105 million people.

The second busiest is Dubai International, with 87 million. Expansion there is constrained by surrounding developments and all its operations will be transferred to Al Maktoum over the next 10 years.

The first phase of the airport opened in 2010 with two runways. When fully complete, it will have 400 gates and five parallel runways on a 70 sq km site.

A rendering of the terminals tweeted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

A city with housing for a million people will be built around it. This will aim to attract logistics companies.

The gates will be divided between four concourses, each of which will have a floor area of 2.3 million m sq.

An automated people-mover system will convey passengers between the concourses and the terminal.

Sheikh Mohammed said: “We are building a project for future generations, ensuring continuous and stable development for our children and their children in turn. Dubai will be the world’s airport, its port, its urban hub, and its new global centre.”

Paul Griffiths, the chief executive of Dubai Airports, said the development would solidify the emirate’s position as a hub for air travel.

“The growth of Dubai has always been hand-in-hand with the growth of its aviation infrastructure and today we see another bold step on that journey,” he said.

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