Dubai Takes Flight: The Future of Al Maktoum International Airport as the World's Largest and Greenest Hub | Tourismag.com
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In a bold move that underscores Dubai's commitment to sustainability and innovation, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the designs for the new passenger terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport. This monumental project, valued at AED 128 billion, is set to become the largest and most eco-friendly airport in the world, with an impressive annual capacity of 260 million passengers.

A Vision for a Sustainable Future

The announcement was made during Sheikh Mohammed's visit to Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, accompanied by several royal family members and high-ranking officials, including Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance. This initiative forms part of a broader strategy by Dubai Aviation Corporation to reinvent aviation for the coming decades, with a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability.

Today, we approved the plans for the new passenger terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport, and we are commencing construction of the building at a cost of AED 128 billion. This airport will enjoy the world's largest capacity, reaching up to 260 million passengers,"

stated Sheikh Mohammed. He added that the airport would be five times the size of the current Dubai International Airport, with all operations set to be transferred to this new facility in the coming years.

Architectural and Ecological Marvel

The new terminal will feature 400 aircraft gates and five parallel runways, employing advanced aviation technologies for the first time in the sector. By building an entire city around the airport in Dubai South, the project will cater to the growing demand for housing for a million people and will host leading companies in logistics and air transport.

We are building a project for future generations, ensuring continuous and stable development for our children and their descendants. Dubai will be the world's airport, its port, its urban hub, and its new global centre,"

Sheikh Mohammed emphasised.

Integration of Sustainable Technologies

The new airport will implement technologies and infrastructures designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with the UAE's vision for sustainability. The project aims to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, a globally recognised standard for green buildings. This certification attests to the high environmental performance and sustainability of the infrastructure.

Efficient Resource Utilisation

The new airport's designs incorporate energy-efficient solutions to minimise energy consumption. This includes advanced technologies for lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Innovative water management systems will also be implemented to optimise the use of this precious resource, including rainwater harvesting installations and water reuse technologies.

Sustainable Mobility and Transport

The airport will feature an integrated transport hub linking roads, metro, and urban air transport. This will facilitate public transport travel and reduce reliance on private vehicles, thus contributing to a decrease in CO2 emissions. The use of automated systems and cutting-edge technologies for passenger and baggage processing will enhance operational efficiency and reduce environmental impacts.

Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, highlighted the economic benefits of the project.

The development of this new airport will be an integral part of Dubai’s economy and a major contributor to the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33). It will generate workforce and residential needs for over a million people living and working in Dubai South,"

he affirmed.

Suzanne Al Anani, CEO of Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, added:

Dubai remains at the forefront. With the determination to maintain its leading role in the global aviation sector, this airport development will represent a new approach to the concept of airports. The exponential acceleration of technologies and the abundance of knowledge in innovation will enable us to reinvent the passenger journey and experience."

A New Era for Aviation

The Al Maktoum International Airport project is not just about meeting current aviation needs; it anticipates future demands by integrating advanced technologies, sustainable infrastructures, and improved connectivity. By aligning its goals with the UAE’s vision for sustainability, the new airport aims to reduce environmental emissions and achieve LEED Gold certification.

Ranking Among the World's Largest Airports

By Passenger Capacity (Future)

  1. Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) - Dubai, UAE

    • Projected capacity: 260 million passengers annually.
  2. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

    • Approximately 93 million passengers.
  3. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)

    • Approximately 82 million passengers.
  4. Dubai International Airport (DXB)

    • Approximately 75 million passengers.
  5. Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)

    • Approximately 71 million passengers.

By Surface Area

  1. King Fahd International Airport (DMM) - Saudi Arabia

    • Approximately 780 km².
  2. Denver International Airport (DEN) - USA

    • Approximately 135 km².
  3. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) - USA

    • Approximately 70 km².
  4. Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) - Dubai, UAE

    • Approximately 56 km² (70 km² with planned expansions).
  5. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) - China

    • Approximately 40 km².

By Modernity (Projected)

  1. Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) - Dubai, UAE

    • Expected to be one of the most modern with state-of-the-art technologies, sustainable infrastructure, and world-class facilities.
  2. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)

    • Known for its ultra-modern facilities, indoor garden, rooftop pool, and cinemas.
  3. Hamad International Airport (DOH) - Doha, Qatar

    • Recognised for its modern design, art installations, and world-class amenities.
  4. Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)

    • Renowned for its cleanliness, efficiency, and modern facilities.
  5. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

    • Appreciated for its modern architecture, services, and advanced technologies.

In summary, the Al Maktoum International Airport project represents a significant leap forward for Dubai, solidifying its status as a global hub for aviation and logistics while paving the way for a sustainable and prosperous future. This monumental undertaking not only addresses the current and future needs of the aviation industry but also sets new standards in environmental stewardship and technological innovation.

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