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Dubai’s £36bn airport expansion put on hold

Maktoum airport, Image: Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology

The expansion of Al Maktoum Airport in Dubai, also known as Dubai World Central has reportedly been put on hold.  

If completed, the airport could become the biggest airport in the world, handling between 160M to 260M passengers a year. 

Reuters has reported that the expansion of the airport had been delayed, claiming that the project is undergoing a redesign.  

A spokesperson for state-owned Dubai Airports told New Civil Engineer that it was the airport’s aim to constantly update plans to embrace new ideas and technologies. 

“The ongoing development of Dubai World Central (DWC) forms a vital component of our long-term plans to accommodate the growth of aviation in Dubai,” the spokesperson said. “Our aim is to continuously update our masterplans to embrace the latest thinking in technology, processes and customer-friendly service design principles to create a sustainable growth and service strategy to serve the future needs of the city.” 

The airport was first opened in 2013, and in the first half of 2016 handled just 410,000 passengers.  

The expansion is expected to cost £36bn, and Dubai secured a £3bn loan in 2017 as part of the development. However, sources speaking to Reuters said this loan had been “delayed indefinitely’’.

In 2016, Dubai Airports said it was expanding the airport, to handle 118M passengers per year. 

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