Stock Paul Griffiths
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports Image Credit: Dubai Airports

Dubai: Dubai World Central is set to reopen to passengers in May 2022, two years after the coronavirus pandemic forced the city to suspend operations at its second airport.

“We’ve got to do some work on the runway at Dubai International Airport and with the reduction in capacity we’ll start to move operations back to DWC,” chief executive officer Paul Griffiths said at the airshow on Sunday. “But it’s really determined by the recovery of traffic overall.”

DWC will see airlines including Wizz Air, some FlyDubai operations and a few Russian airlines return, though Emirates will operate passenger flights solely out of the main Dubai International Airport for the foreseeable future.

Griffiths said he is optimistic the airline industry will recover by the start of 2025. “I’m hoping that might be a fairly conservative estimate,” he said. “We may well see a rather rapid recovery if the last few weeks are anything to go by.”

To prepare for higher tourist arrivals, concourse A at Dubai International is set to reopen on November 24, bringing the airport to full operation.

Griffiths has previously said that easing Covid-19 restrictions will boost travel through one of the world’s busiest hubs, and international visitor numbers may more than double next year.