Duty free area at the Al Maktoum International Airport. Khalifa Al Zaffin said all international aviation companies operating at Dubai Airport will move to Al Maktoum International Airport by the end of 2017. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives


The Dubai South project will sustain a population of a million people and is designed to create 500,000 jobs when completed, according to Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South.

Al Zaffin, speaking at a ‘Meet the CEO’ event organised by the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), said Dubai South is a purpose-built integrated urban destination, aimed at creating a vibrant economic platform that can support every conceivable business and industry,

Al Zaffin said Al Maktoum Airport will be the largest airport of its kind in the world following the completion of all the phases of the Dubai Aviation City project.

The airport will handle about 130 million passengers by 2025 given the state-of-the-art infrastructure it would be equipped with, which thereby will facilitate passenger traffic and cargo through two runways capable of handling Airbus A380 planes, he said. The airport will also have a passenger terminal capable of dealing with 130 million passengers and cargo terminal ready to handle 12 million tons annually.

He said all international aviation companies operating at Dubai Airport will move to Al Maktoum International Airport by the end of 2017. Flydubai will commence operations at the airport from the first quarter of 2018.

The passenger terminal at Al Maktoum Airport is expected to handle 27 million passengers in Q1 2018, Al Zaffin said. The investment in property at Dubai South, home of Al Maktoum International Airport, the largest airport in the world, exceeded expectations. Demand surpassed supply by 200 per cent. This reflects the success of the project, he noted. Total sales transactions reached Dh3 billion. More residential property projects will be offered for sale in January 2017, he added.

The aviation sector, as Al Zaffin noted, will play a pivotal role in supporting Dubai’s vision aiming to make the emirate a global destination for aviation industry thanks to Dubai’s strategic location.

Currently, the aviation sector contributes to 28 per cent of the emirate’s gross domestic production (GDP) and that is expected to increase to 35 per cent by 2021.

Dubai South’s goals are consistent with Dubai’s vision aiming to bring about a diversified and sustainable economy with the aviation industry one of its key components, Al Zaffin said.

He said the first-of-its-kind Dubai South airport city has been designed in an integrated manner to save time, money and efforts. It will provide residents with various health, educational and entertainment services at competitive prices.

Stretching over an area of 18.5 Square kilometres, the project’s logistic area is linked to Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum Airport through Dubai Logistics Corridor and will provide unparalleled services for companies operating in logistics. It will ease operations and save costs and time, which will be reduced to four hours instead of four days, he said.

Dubai South will add new dimension to the aviation industry through a new private jet terminal that will offer express services in customs and immigration transactions, he said. The airport city will also include aviation-training academy that will give an opportunity to those working in aviation field to be familiarised with the recent updates in this field.

New laws and regulations will be issued to organise the use of drones. They will be restricted to specific areas for aviation safety, Al Zaffin concluded.

A number of editors from local and international publications in the UAE participated in the ‘Meet the CEO’ event, part of a regular series of press events organised by GDMO that features leaders of prominent Dubai organisations. Present at the meeting was Mona Al Marri, Director General of the Dubai Government’s Media Office.