• 16 Nov
    Dubai secures $3B to finance airport expansion

    Dubai, which is on track to achieve a passenger traffic target of 146 million by 2025, on Tuesday announced plans for an initial $3 billion financing deal to support the expansion of its two international airports.

    The government has chosen HSBC to arrange the funding of $3 billion towards the expansion of Al Maktoum International Airport, the statement from the Dubai Media Office said.

    A consortium of Dubai state entities, comprising of the Department of Finance, state-owned fund Investment Corporation of Dubai, and the Dubai Aviation City Corporation, will raise the financing.

    “The funds will come from a variety of sources and will include conventional and Islamic tranches,” the statement added.

    With the next level of expansion, the two Dubai airports are set to serve up to 146 million passengers by 2025. In September 2014, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved a $32 billion investment to expand Al Maktoum International Airport, with an aim to handle up to 120 million passengers a year by 2022.

    Already, Dubai International Airport is the world’s largest international airport handling 78 million passengers in 2015 with the addition of 7.5 million passengers, recording a 13 per cent average compound annual growth rate since 2000.

    While Atlanta Hartfield-Jackson, the main hub for Delta Air Lines, remains the busiest, it only processed 5.3 million additional passengers for a total of 101.5 million. Beijing airport added 3.8 million to reach 89.9 million.

    Within this decade, Dubai International Airport expects to become the world’s busiest both in terms of domestic and international passengers, overtaking Beijing and Atlanta.

    The airport, which overtook London Heathrow, sees passenger traffic climbing to 83 million this year from 78 million last year and expects 90 million people using the facility next year.

    The new Al Maktoum International Airport is planned to become the primary airport for Dubai, as well as the home to Emirates airline from 2025.

    “Dubai remains firmly committed to the development of the Al Maktoum International Airport and to the growth of the global aviation sector, and this initial $3 billion transaction to support Dubai’s ambitious 2025 passenger capacity targets is testament to our belief,” said Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Committee, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Emirates airline and Chief Executive of the Emirates Group.

    “In line with Dubai’s vision to maintain its status as one of the world’s most important cultural and commercial centres, the planned expansion of both airports is critically important, and our department is proud to play a vital role in their ongoing financing, just as we have with other similarly major projects,” said Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, director-general of the Department of Finance for the Government of Dubai.