• 07 Sep
    Al Maktoum International – Phase 1

    Dubai’s rapid and amazing growth in the last fifty years from an important, yet small regional trading hub into a vital, strategic global business and shipping center could not have happened without the vision that the Al Maktoum family had for the emirate. Vision and determination transformed Dubai to what it is today, supported by its robust Aviation Sector which contributes directly and indirectly up to a quarter of Dubai’s total GDP growth, fuelling its thriving economy along with its manufacturing, transport, construction, finance, technology and real estate sectors.

    H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum following his dream of connecting Dubai to the world, laid the foundation of the aviation industry in the emirate by building the first airport in 1960, which in the following decades underwent one expansion after another to become the world’s most favored hub.

    Sheikh Rashid’s son, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, picked up right where his father left off. Taking Dubai’s aspirations to a totally new state, Sheikh Mohammed created global aviation industry icons like Dubai Airports, Emirates Airline, and Dubai Duty Free, not to mention the mammoth project of Dubai World Central in Jebel Ali, whereby the new Al Maktoum International Airport will be soon nested.

    Dubai International Airport, Emirates Airlines

    Today, Dubai International Airport (DI) from a sandy strip back in the sixties, has become the world’s first busiest airport for international passenger traffic, leaping ahead of Heathrow airport serving a record figure of 68.5m in the past twelve months, following its busiest year on record; an amazing achievement for an airport of this life span.

    Similarly, Emirates Airlines from a regional airline flying its first routes in 1985 has evolved into a globally influential travel and tourism conglomerate, known to the world for its commitment to the highest standards of quality in every aspect of the business. Emirates, the home carrier of Dubai and the back bone of the Aviation Sector, has grown over the years in scale and stature, thriving in annual profits to finally become a “brand” in itself.

    It is the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 1,200 flights per week from its hub at Terminal 3, to 122 cities in 74 countries across six continents. Currently it has the largest A380 aircraft operating fleet with another 90 on order with four of the world’s ten longest non-stop commercial flights from Dubai to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, and Houston.

    DWC and AMI

    With the ever aggressive growth of the Aviation Sector in Dubai, through the sprinting forecasts of Emirates Airline over the last years, the longer term ambition for growth extends beyond the current airport’s expansion plans. In response to the continuous pressure exerted by Dubai International airport site constraints and the envisioned saturation of the airport in the near future, the planning and implementation of a new “Airport City”, the Dubai World Central (DWC) development in Jebel Ali area, was launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in January 2006.

    The concept employed for the Airport City is the one of a simple integration. This entails the creation of a direct relationship defined by proximity, between the airport, its functions and the surrounding synergetic land uses, thus forming the basis of a City Level Community. While the Airport/Aviation primary functions could operate satisfactorily in isolation, their economic attractions are sufficiently powerful to attract significant developments.

    Forecast, SP2020 and SP2050

    The Dubai Aviation Sector forecasts witnessed over the past years have shown a very aggressive growth rate, recording double digit numbers, as early as 2000. This aggressive growth has led to realize that the current airport in Dubai will not be able to sustain for long this rising demand. Its two close-by set of runways within a constrained site, shall eventually impose a capacity limit at the existing airport.

    To overcome this, 3 years ago in 2011, The Aviation Sector had kicked off the 2020 Strategic Plan (SP 2020) for Dubai International, identified as a 22billion AED investment plan, aimed to prolong the life of the existing airport, in lead time for the development of Dubai’s newest and biggest airport, Al Maktoum International.

    An aggressive expansion plan was set out, in close coordination and collaboration between the main stakeholders of the Aviation Sector in Dubai that invested in every remaining available real estate at the current airport, to allow for an expansion project that caters in its entirety for the challenging growth in passenger and air traffic demand, resulting from the successful model that Emirates Airline has followed in its last 13 years of operation and the unmatched Level of Service the Aviation Sector has continuously thrived to offer.

    Currently the airport is implementing Phase III of its expansion plan that will increase its capacity to over 92.5 million passengers annually to meet its future growth needs. A number of projects is already completed and in operation, while its Concourse D is steaming ahead for a start up soon; similarly the first steps in the development of Al Maktoum International were noted, with the start of its first cargo operation back in 2010 and opening to passenger traffic in October 2013.

    Today, another great milestone is added into the long line of success of Dubai’s Aviation Sector. With the continuous support and blessing of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and in keeping with H.H’s Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Aviation Sector, dream for the Aviation industry in Dubai, we are proud to announce the start of the planning and design process for the New Airport at Jebel Ali, Al Maktoum International; The 2050 Strategic Plan (SP 2050).

    The motto remains the same:

    • Develop Capacity to meet Demand and prepare the ground for the next 40 years of anticipated growth in Aviation. The long term vision is what Dubai Ruler has always taught us.
    • Respond to the Hub Airline Plans in terms of Fleet Acquisition Plans and Passenger Growth.
    • Provide state of the art passenger facilities with unmatched Level of Service.
    • Provide state of the art aviation operation facilities.

    Irrespective of all expansion plans carried out at DI, the move to AMI has always been inevitable and the only viable solution for sustaining the increased passenger volumes.

    Al Maktoum International(AMI)

    After the world’s first 7-star hotel the iconic Burj Al Arab, the amazing construction marvel of Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower building in the word, here comes the world’s largest passenger and cargo hub, a new record in Aviation history, adding one more outstanding feature in the continuing Dubai legacy; the new Al Maktoum International airport.

    Covering a land area of nearly 65 square km, an enormous size for an airport by any standard, lays within the 140 square km of the Dubai World Central site.

    Located 40 km away from the center at the southwest end of Dubai, the airport will be accessed by three major road arteries serving the Emirate of Dubai and the other Emirates of the UAE; the Sheikh Zayed Road, the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, and the Emirates Road.

    The full network of metro lines currently laid out in Dubai will eventually be extended to reach the new airport site, providing a speedier, relaxed and hassle free transportation mode for the originating and departing passengers. Furthermore, the advantage of the Etihad Rail line connecting to the airport will transform Al Maktoum International to a huge multimodal transportation hub.

    It will be an airport of an unprecedented scale, capable of handling in excess of 220 million passengers and over 12 million tonnes of cargo per year on its completion. Al Maktoum International airport is estimated to be around ten times the size of the present Dubai International airport.

    The airport shall be the new hub for Emirates Airline, within a non-constrained site able to respond to the continuous and ambitious growth of the airline that is recording double digit growth, year after year.

    After Dubai International, Al Maktoum International is a materialization of the continuous success in Dubai’s vision to become the world’s largest aviation hub in passenger and cargo transfer, capable of handling with its two airports, that will always remain operational, an excess of 300 Million Passengers in the coming 30 years.

    Al Maktoum International shall represent a quantum leap for Dubai by:

    • Expanding the Strategic Vision as a World Hub for Passenger transport.
    • Appling a unique and innovative Business/Real Estate concept in city planning by creating the catalyst for the new generation “Airport City” the Aerotropolis.
    • Keeping with the plans of DWC to become the first and only integrated logistics platform in the world.
    • Addressing industry logistics needs instead of only focusing on transportation.

    The vision for Al Maktoum International is to develop into the “Next Generation Airport”, by adopting and future proofing for the latest innovative technologies addressing the following:

    • Sustainability, by taking the opportunity of being environmentally committed on all levels, generating renewable energy that will reduce the carbon footprint while powering airport facilities, usage of automated guided vehicles that will reduce carbon fuel consumption, PV panels for solar power generation, as well as, utilizing recycling mechanisms for all water, waste materials and fluids, will be elements to be contemplated in every single detail for the airport to improve its efficiency in energy consumption.
    • Biometrics & Smart Passenger Tracking, such as iris scan, palm scans, boarding (RFID) cards and other innovative means in order to facilitate the seamless flow of passengers through the terminals with minimum paper processing.
    • Shorter Passenger Walking Distances within the Terminal and concourse facilities. This would make for a more compact terminal design while maintaining a more pleasant experience for the passenger.
    • Queuing Elimination, by reducing the number of passengers / baggage processes at the airport terminal (i.e. confirmation of use of service and check-in outside the airport) allowing the passengers uninterrupted flow to areas within close proximity of the aircraft.
    • Baggage Handling Facilitation, allowing passengers to separate from their bags as early as possible with a personalized collection upon arrival to provide a pleasant and comfortable travel experience.

    The main characteristics of the airport are the following:

    • Five parallel Code F runways of 4.5 Km each in length spaced wide apart in order to provide for simultaneous quadruple parallel aircraft approaches.
    • The first all-weather, Instrument Landing System (Cat IIIB) which allows operations under low visibility conditions.
    • Triple Code F parallel taxiway system next to the two runways on either side of the central terminal area. Triple Code F cross field taxiways across the central terminal area in order to minimize taxiing distances and time.
    • Critical aircraft box dimensions of 85m x 85m that cater for the new generation expanded aircraft versions from the leading manufacturers of Airbus and Boeing.
    • Apron design encompassing dual Code F push back taxi lanes for each contact stand.
    • Two Terminal facilities on either side of the airport site, West and East, providing a capacity for over 50 million O/D passengers in total. Entrance to the two terminals will be provided through State of the Art developments at the access points of the International hub.
    • Four Satellite Concourses featuring an innovative triple-plus layout 2.8 km long encompassing three nodes, each, having the size of 7 football fields.
    • Concourses, each with 100 wide body aircraft contact stands and 65 million capacity, totaling over 220 million passengers capacity for the entire airport with over 400 wide body contact stands.
    • Innovative Concourse functional design aiming to raise passenger experience to new levels, never before experienced at any airport.
    • An outstanding 6 track Automated People Mover system, connecting the airport’s two Terminals with its four Satellite Concourses designed in such a way, that allows the arriving and departing passengers to reach their destinations on a fast travel journey, as well as, the transferring passengers to circulate between concourses in a set Minimum Connect Time, thus enabling them to board their next flight, efficiently, timely and comfortably, with the added advantage of enjoying the state of the art airport offerings.
    • Efficient City rail Network that enables express service for passengers who check in a drop their bags in town travel straight to the airport. The City rail network will also provide convenience for all commuter passengers / employees to reach their place of work at the airport.
    • A massive 40 km subterranean road network with multiple lanes, being the operational backbone of the airport, connecting the huge Support facilities area on the North, to the Central Terminal Area and the Cargo area to the South of the site.
    • The most advanced Automated Global Logistics System ever used at an airport, featuring a gigantic scale baggage handling system, never before encountered in the world. A system featuring a network targeted for full connectivity within the airport’s massive site and enabling high speed responsive transport of goods, cargo, baggage, catering, spare parts etc., between the four corners of the site.
    • A massive 8 square km Cargo facility area at the south of the site, supported by the Quick Cargo Transfer Facilities.
    • A more than 5 square km state of the art Maintenance Facilities and Airport Support Infrastructure area, providing all the necessary facilities to maintain and operate the airport.
    • Huge landside commercial area, providing for Hotel and Shopping Mall development to support the airport operations.

    First Phase Development of AMI

    The first Phase of Al Maktoum is taking-off. Over 120 Billion AED investments in the coming 6 to 8 years to allow for more than 130 Million Passenger per year in total and comprising of:

    • A 650,000sqm West Terminal with a 30 Million O/D passenger capacity per annum connected to the major road arteries of Dubai.
    • Two 1,000,000sqm Satellite Concourses with 200 Wide Body aircraft Contact Stands, a 100 of which are Code F enabled.
    • Two new runways of 4.5 Km each.
    • Over 1,500,000sqm of Support Facilities laid out in a manner that allows efficient and timely airport operation.
    • Sustainable design.
    • Extension of the Metro Red Line to the West Terminal for employees and commuters.
    • State of the art BHS system.
    • Cargo terminals.
    • Etc.

    The development of the largest International Airport hub in the world will also be a great uplift for Dubai’s economy. It will generate an estimated workforce and residential requirement of around 940,000 people living and working in Dubai World Central (DWC). The planned airport would represent a significant pole of attraction for industrial, office and service employment.

    Major airports have become key nodes in global production and enterprise systems offering them speed, agility, and connectivity. They are also powerful engines of local economic development, attracting aviation-linked businesses of all types to their environs.

    The rapid expansion of airport-linked commercial facilities is making today’s air gateways anchors of 21st century metropolitan development where distant travelers and locals alike can conduct business, exchange knowledge, shop, eat, sleep, and be entertained without going more than 15 minutes from the airport.

    More and more aviation-oriented businesses are being drawn to airport cities and along transportation corridors radiating from them. Although most Aerotropolis developments to date have been organic, spontaneous and chaotic — often spawning congestion and environmental problems — future Airport Cities like Dubai World Central / Al Maktoum International are envisaged as recipes for success.