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Dubai confirms Dh63b investment in airports

Dubai's investment in airport development could surpass Dh63 billion ($17.2 billion) including the $7.2 billion invested so far, Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports and President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority said.

In a statement read out at the Paris Air Show, Shaikh Ahmad reaffirmed the government's commitment to go ahead despite economic challenges.

"These are challenging times for aviation. Passenger and cargo traffic has dropped off dramatically in most parts of the world leading to billions in industry losses," he said.

"Dubai has been a beacon of light during these turbulent times. During the first quarter Dubai Airports recorded 2.1 per cent passenger traffic growth."

"That increased to 6.5 per cent in April and 7.1 per cent in May. In total, Dubai International forecasts a four to five per cent increase in passenger traffic for the first half of this year."

"This is a welcome sign that the worst of this crisis may be behind us. It also sends a clear signal that our long-term strategy is on track."

Dubai Airports has invested $7.2 billion expanding Dubai International. This includes Terminal 3 and the second concourse, which opened in October 2008, increasing the airport's capacity to 60 million passengers per annum.

It also encompasses construction of Concourse 3, which is due for completion in late 2011. This will boost total airport capacity to 75 million passengers per annum.

"The investments reaffirm [the] Dubai Government's determination to go ahead with its long-term vision," an analyst said, requesting anonymity.Abu Dhabi with the intent to develop warehousing and logistics parks across the GCC.