Passengers at the Dubai International airport. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Passengers flying out of Dubai’s airports will now pay Dh35 along with airline fare and other airport charges, the Dubai Media Office said in a statement yesterday.

The service fee has been introduced to help finance the expansion of Dubai International and Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC), according to the statement.

The fee for “using airport facilities” will be added to all airfares for departing flights, including transfer passengers. Passengers aged under two and airline cabin crew will be exempt, the statement said.

Passengers whose arrival and departure flight numbers are the same are also exempt.

The charge was approved in Executive Council Resolution No 8 of 2016 by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, the statement said.

The fee applies to all departing flights after June 30, booked after March 1.

The announcement comes nearly two months after Dubai Airports Chief Executive Paul Griffiths told Gulf News the operator was looking at a “small increase” in airport charges. Dubai International, the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, argues its airport fees are some of the lowest in the world.

The Dh35 fee will be collected by the airlines who will pass it on to the Dubai government public treasury via Dubai Airports, the statement said.

Dubai Airports, owned by the Dubai government, finished this year a $7.8 billion expansion of Dubai International, taking passenger capacity from 60 million a year to 90 million with the opening of Concourse D at Terminal 1. There are plans to expand the airport to 118 million passengers by 2023. In 2014, a $32 billion (Dh117.53 billion) expansion of DWC was approved by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

DWC is expected to one day be able to handle more than 200 million passengers a year.

The first phase of the expansion is scheduled to be completed in the mid-2020s.