UAE to invest $23.1bn into airport development and expansion

11 July 2018

The UAE is to invest $23.16 billion into airport development and expansion that will see the country’s airports have a combined capacity to handle in excess of 300 million passengers per year, organisers of the upcoming Global Investment in Aviation Summit (GIAS) in Dubai have said.

Dubai is set to hold the first Global Investment in Aviation Summit from January 27 to 29 in 2019. The three-day summit will be attended by the world’s top 500 aviation investors, with delegates from 40 countries. The UAE’s investment airport development includes $8 billion spent on Al Maktoum International Airport, $7.6 billion on the expansion of Phase IV of Dubai International Airport and $6.8 billion on the re-development and expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport.

In addition, Sharjah International Airport is also undergoing a $408.3 million investment for the expansion of its terminal. The UAE has 14 airports, airstrips and airfields, served by 113 airlines, with total annual take-off and landings in excess of 540,000.

“Conservatively, we anticipate accommodating 118 million passengers by 2023 at the Dubai International Airport, and 120 million passengers upon completion of phase 2 of the Dubai World Central, and 200 million passengers upon its completion, all in ultra-modern infrastructures that match, if not surpass, the best in the world,” said Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director-general of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

The summit is being held at a time when the region’s aviation industry is riding high on efficiency and performance, with the Emirates Group posting a profit of $1.1 billion for the financial year ending March 31, 2018 – a 67% increase from the previous year.

The combined fleet size of the four UAE airlines reached 502, including Emirates’ fleet of 268, Etihad Airways’ 120, FlyDubai’s 61 and Air Arabia’s 53. The UAE airlines add between 4-5 aircraft per month and the total combined fleet size of the UAE’s four airlines is expected to cross 525 by the end of this year. There are also more than 300 aircraft on order.

“Not only as the country hosting the largest combined aircraft fleet, the UAE has also joined the global aircraft manufacturing supply chain management with Strata manufacturing aircraft components for both Boeing and Airbus.

Dubai South is the world’s largest Aerotropolis hosting Al Maktoum International Airport – the world’s largest greenfield airport development. It is undergoing a massive development programme, with investment of more than $30 billion. It will be the future home of Emirates Airline – the world’s largest international airline

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