Article - Airport

Dubai reveals Dubai World Central expansion plan

by Jeffrey Teruel - Founder/Editor-Flights in Asia
Published on April 28, 2024


Dubai has revealed plans to shift the operations at Dubai International Airport (DXB) to an expanded Dubai World Central (DWC).

Dubai has revealed plans to shift the operations at Dubai International Airport (DXB) to an expanded Dubai World Central (DWC).

In a post on X by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Ruler announced the approval of the designs of the new passenger terminal to be built at DWC. Sheikh Mohammed  also ordered the immediate start of the construction of the building as part of the Dubai Aviation Corporation’s strategy.

“We are preparing for a new phase in the growth of the global aviation sector. We are preparing for a phase in which Dubai leads the international aviation sector for the next forty years,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Located 37 kilometers south of Dubai in Dubai South, DWC – also named Al Maktoum International Airport – is the city's second international airport. Opened in 2010, DWC serves international flights along with cargo operations. It is the main base of Emirates SkyCargo – Emirates Airlines cargo division. DWC also hosts to the bieannial Dubai Air Show.

Image: Current Dubai World Central (DWC). Credit: Google Maps

With an estimated cost of AED 128 billion (~USD $34.8 billion), the expanded DWC will cover an area five times the size of DXB. The expanded DWC will feature five parallel runways and 400 aircraft gates. Designed for a final capacity of up to 260 million passengers, DWC is expected to be one of the largest in the world.

According to Sheikh Mohammed, all operations at DXB will be transferred to DWC in the coming years. The airport will also introduce new technologies that will be used for the first time in the aviation sector.  

Image: Artist depiction of new terminal building at Dubai World Central (DWC). Credit: Dubai Media Office

Following the announcement, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said: “The announcement of phase two of Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International Airport's (DWC) expansion, representing a substantial investment of AED128 billion, marks the start of a huge investment of resources by our many stakeholders in designing and building a state-of-the-art airport that will provide a quick, convenient, and high quality 21st century experience for our customers. This further solidifies Dubai's position as a leading aviation hub on the world stage.”  

Griffiths further added that DXB will continue to serve as the primary hub of the city over the next few years as phase two of DWC takes shape.

“We will be actively collaborating with our airline customers, our strategic partners, the Dubai Government, and our stakeholders to bring this visionary project to fruition,” Griffiths added.

According to Dubai Airports, DXB surpassed its own record passenger traffic numbers from 2019 when it served 87 million passengers in 2023. The airport has been the world's busiest international hub for 10 consecutive years as reported by Airports Council International. 

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