The vision and innovation that have inspired the development of one of the world’s great cities are being applied in full force to the continued evolution of its fast-growing and dynamic aviation sector. Always looking forward, Dubai will soon be home to a new breed of airport.
The tens of thousands of dedicated employees who work there, have played a pivotal role in making a positive and lasting impression on the millions of visitors who have passed through its doors.
Thanks to longer range aircraft that amplify the advantage of Dubai’s geocentric location, along with a fast-growing route network, traffic demand has risen rapidly. Dubai Airports’ Strategic Plan 2020, launched in 2011, was designed to provide capacity to accommodate 90 million passengers at DXB by 2018.
Over the past 12 years passenger numbers have more than quadrupled…
from 18.1 million in 2003
The programme included the construction of Concourse A (completed in January 2013), the doubling of capacity at Terminal 2, the refurbishment of Terminal 1, the resurfacing of both runways, the construction of Concourse D (opened in February 2016), and the upcoming upgrade of Concourse C to accommodate Emirates as the sole user. When combined with associated stand upgrades, enhancements to airfield and air traffic control capacity, as well as the upgrading of existing facilities to improve passenger experience, DXB has been transformed into the world’s leading intercontinental hub.
However, the forecast for passenger numbers at DXB alone by 2020 has risen from 98.5 million to more than 104 million. Airline network expansion is driving the need for additional capacity. At the Dubai Airshow in November 2013, Emirates airline placed a record-breaking order for 150 Boeing 777X, comprising 35 Boeing 777-8Xs and 115 Boeing 777-9Xs, plus 50 purchase rights and an additional 50 Airbus A380 aircraft.
flydubai also announced its commitment for an order for up to 111 aircraft from Boeing, including up to 100 Boeing 737 MAX and up to 11 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s. Although both orders include some replacement aircraft, the ongoing expansion in flights, passenger numbers and route network is set to intensify as a result.
2020 And Beyond
Revised growth projections to 2020 and beyond clearly point to the need for additional capacity at DXB, as well as the rapid expansion of Dubai’s second airport, DWC, particularly in light of recent aircraft orders by home carriers Emirates airline and flydubai. Accordingly, Dubai Airports, with the agreement and support of Dubai’s aviation sector board, has redesigned its long term strategy to meet anticipated demand while elevating service levels and passenger experience with a three-pronged approach.