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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 November 2018

Dubai awards largest tender package on Al Maktoum airport expansion

The government is working to increase the airport's capacity to 150 million passengers by 2030

Dubai World Central, or Al Maktoum International is Dubai’s second-largest airport, and expected to become the world’s largest after expansion. Dubai Airports
Dubai World Central, or Al Maktoum International is Dubai’s second-largest airport, and expected to become the world’s largest after expansion. Dubai Airports

Dubai has launched the largest tender so far for the expanding Al Maktoum International Airport, according to the engineering division of the emirate's civil aviation authority.

The package, which consists of 1.7 million square metres of connected basement footprint to house tunnels, baggage handling and other back-of-house technical and support facilities, was the "the biggest ever released in its category," said Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai Aviation Sector Board in a statement.

"We are targeting an award by early next year. More is yet to come and everyone is looking forward to a busy 2019," he added.

Al Maktoum, Dubai’s second airport, is expected to become the world’s largest when its expansion is completed. The airport, which opened in 2013 in the Dubai South district close to the Jebel Ali ports free zone, can handle around seven million passengers annually.

Future expansion for which the latest package has been tendered will aim to increase the airport's capacity to 150 million passengers by 2030, with 260 million passengers considered the ultimate capacity.

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The government had earlier said the expansion would be completed in 2025. An earlier expansion on the airport had been delayed by trials and testing of site facilities, the government said last year.

The latest engineering package on the airport expansion will include foundations, basement walls, columns, basement slabs and top slabs for the first 2.7km-long concourse, the West Terminal Building as well as car parking facilities exceeding 18 metres underground, according to the statement on the Dubai Media Office website.

The site is already quite active, with substantial progress having been made since construction work begun in July 2016, the statement added.

More than 90 per cent of the site grading and logistics packages are underway, while the airport authority ramped up activity further following a contract award for enabling works last summer. The contractor for this is already on site.

Meanwhile, Al Maktoum International Airport Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) this year completed the redevelopment of its existing departures area, with new retail space. By the year-end, Al Maktoum will house 4,500 square metres of Dubai Duty Free retail space, up from the previous 2,500 sq m, Dubai Airports said in July.