Expo 2020 will spur airport investments in UAE

An overview of the airport development in Dubai
An overview of the airport development in Dubai

The winning of the Expo 2020 by Dubai will witness increased investments in airports expansion in the Arabian Gulf. This will result in vast growth opportunities for the global aviation industry as the city-state accelerates its drive to enhance airports capacity and facilities.

A significant portion of government investments planned for infrastructure development in the emirate will be for aviation industry with airports sector being top priority. The global aviation industry will benefit immensely with opening of new investments in the run up to the event which will attract 25 million tourists to the region.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai said: “We have a lot to accomplish and we have no excuse for any delays or poor performance. We have what it takes to achieve as we are blessed with rich resources, capabilities, expertise, positive energy, a thirst for knowledge, dedication and above all, the leadership’s unlimited support.”

Dubai is expected to invest over US$8.1 billion in new infrastructure to host Expo 2020. Total spending related to the Expo, including private sector projects, could reach US$18.3 bn, HSBC estimated. As much as US$43 bn in infrastructure projects would need to be developed in preparation for the event, as estimated by Deutsche Bank. Aviation has established itself as a vital contributor to the UAE’s economy, contributing more than AED145 bn or 14.7% to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In light of the growing development need, the Airport Show 2014 scheduled to take place from 11-13 May will be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC). The event is being conducted under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed. The show will be the first gateway for global airports industry players to showcase their portfolio and innovative products, services and solutions.

Dubai Airports has been ‘preparing’ proposals to double the emirate’s passenger handling capacity to 200 million passengers a year by 2045, up from the current target of 100 mn a year by 2020.

The Strategic Plan 2020 published by Dubai Airports forecast Dubai International Airport would hit capacity in 2018 at around 90 mn passengers. A fourth concourse is under construction, after the opening of the Airbus A380-dedicated Concourse A brought the capacity of the world’s second busiest international airport to up to 75 mn.

Dubai Airports is undergoing an AED28.8 bn expansion programme, which will boost capacity at Dubai International from 60 to 90 mn passengers per year by 2018. Dubai intends to invest US$33 bn in the multi-phased development at DWC, which is located in the vicinity of Expo 2020 venue.

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