Dubai's second airport and the world's largest when completed will open in June for air cargo operations. With the inauguration of the Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International Airport, the world's largest cargo operations will begin. This will further boost Dubai’s claim to transform into a key regional hub with a capacity to handle more than 12 million tones of cargo annually. DWC - Al Maktoum International Airport will be ten times larger than Dubai International Airport and Dubai Cargo Village combined. Chief executive officer, Paul Griffiths, told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual Arabian Travel Market held in Dubai set June 27 as the date for the start of operations at Al-Maktoum International Airport.
The new airport is spread over 140 square kilometers (87 square miles), part of the 33-billion-dollar Dubai World Central development in Dubai's Jebel Ali area, home also to the region's largest port and its busiest free zone.
It is being built 40 kilometers (25 miles) away from the current airport -- already the busiest in the Middle East.
Dubai is also continuing to expand its existing airport, building a third concourse while it plans to expand Terminal Two, which is the hub for its young low-cost carrier, Flydubai.
Dubai airport handled 11.47 million passengers in the first quarter of this year, up 20.4 percent from the corresponding period last year, he said.
Aviation in the Middle East has bucked the slowdown in the world markets resulting from the credit crunch. Regional carriers recorded the strongest growth in passenger traffic at 25.9 percent, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said last month.