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DWC: The Active Airport

Al Maktoum International (DWC) is the location of Dubai's second airport on the southern side of the city. While DWC is still undergoing major expansion work, the current annual passenger footfall is around one million. As expansion continues in its next phase, the airport will have the capability to handle 120 million passengers annually and 100 wide-body aircraft (Code F and E) at any given time. Ultimately, the 65 square-kilometre airport will handle an excess of 260 million passengers a year.

En route to the world's largest airport.

260 million

Number of annual passengers by The Ultimate Phase

65 sq. km

Total area of all Al Maktoum International by The Ultimate Phase

15 minutes

Time taken for a passenger to receive luggage


Al Maktoum International will be five times the size of Dubai International

Bird's eye view of the Passenger Terminal and Control Tower at Dubai World Central
About DWC Today

Building a launch pad for the future of aviation

The foresight and ambition of Dubai is reflected in the Dubai South aerotropolis megaproject, which will host Al Maktoum International (DWC), the world’s future biggest airport and cargo hub. The development is highly strategic, being central to Dubai and close to the seaports.

In addition to sea and air links, DWC will be easily accessible on the ground via the trans-emirate highway and the future Etihad Rail. Three main roads will provide access to the development, with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed road on the west, Emirates Road on the east and the Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Road running through the centre of the aerotropolis.

DWC will be at the centre of Dubai South development, surrounded by six dedicated areas, comprising the EXPO 2020 site and districts dedicated to residential, aviation, logistics, business, leisure and commercial spaces. DAEP is responsible for the development of this aerotropolis, starting with the airport design, master-planning and construction of infrastructure and airways to the execution and installation of smart airport systems.

Construction began in 2006, when DAEP completed the first runway at the airport. A control tower and a passenger terminal building were also constructed, taking the airport‘s capacity to 7 million passengers a year.

DWC Control Tower

DAEP continues design and planning for DWC, ranging from consultation for optimal vehicle movement to the installation of intelligent airport systems that will allow passengers to check-in from home and use curbside baggage drops at autonomously mobile carts.

With the support and leadership of the Dubai Government, DAEP is confident in realising Dubai’s vision of becoming the world's leading aviation hub, as well as the world's first multimodal freight transportation hub, connecting air, sea and land.

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A global gateway in the making
  • 2007 - The first runway at DWC is completed after 600 days of work and eight months of testing as per CAT III requirements. The total strip is 4.5 kilometres long.

  • 2010 - Cargo operations launch from the airport.

  • 2011 - DWC records handling nearly 90,000 tonnes of cargo.

  • 2012 - The airport records a 144% increase in freight, handling close to 220,000 tonnes of cargo.

  • 2013 - A Wizz Air flight from Budapest becomes the first ever passenger flight to land in DWC on October 27. Thereafter, Jazeera Airways and Gulf Airways commence flights from the airport. Consequently, flight movement increases by 96%.

  • 2014 - Freight operations increase by nearly 263% as compared to the previous year, as Emirates Skycargo and other cargo carriers shift operations to DWC.

  • 2015 - Fly Dubai begins operating out of the airport in addition to their operations at Dubai International.

  • 2016 - Passenger movements go up by 84.5%, with the airport welcoming nearly 850,633 passengers.

  • 2017 - DWC welcomes more passengers with an increase of 6.4% from the previous year. Freight movement goes up by 8.3%.

  • 2018 - DWC witnesses a 27% increase in passenger movements as compared to 2015. The passenger terminal expansion project, which would increase the airport’s annual passenger capacity to 26 million, nears completion.

  • 2019 - The expanded passenger terminal boasts 104 check-in counters, 7 baggage carousels, 24 boarding gates, 98 remote aircraft stands, 40 immigration counters, 5 smart gates, free covered car parking for up to 2,500 vehicles, and an expanded taxi and limousine staging area. Cargo handling volumes increase with businesses setting up supply chain operations in the Logistics District.

Current Projects
AMI Construction Stages

Building the world’s largest airport, one megaproject at a time

In preparing for what is perhaps the largest construction in human history, DAEP has strategically planned multiple phases to execute the development of DWC, incrementally completing projects to meet growing projections of passenger flux. When the last phase is completed, DWC will be equipped to process 260 million passengers and 15 million tonnes of freight annually.

Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects is responsible for the design, master-planning, infrastructure development and construction of Dubai’s dynamic aviation sector.
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