Dubai: Dubai Airports on Thursday said it will conduct an 80-day refurbishment of the runways at Dubai international airport beginning on May 1 next year, diverting all freighter, charter and general aviation flights to the emirate’s second airport Dubai World Central (DWC).

The northern runway is nearing the end of its design life and needs resurfacing, while new taxiways will be constructed on the southern runway to boost capacity, Dubai Airports said in an emailed statement.

The southern runway will be closed from May 1 to May 31 next year, while the northern runway will be closed from May 31 to July 20.

Dubai International currently closes each runway at the airport for five hours per week to conduct regular maintenance, but the new enhancements require a longer period of closure, the company said. Discussions are underway with airlines to reduce flight schedules during the project, it added.

DWC will open its doors for passenger operations on October 27 when Saudi Arabia-based Nasair and Hungary-based Wizz Air, both low-cost carriers, begin flying. The airport first opened for cargo operations in 2010.