DXB’s $1.63-$2.72 billion expansion: No new terminals, just better experiences

DXB welcomed 41.6 million passengers in the first half of 2023
DXB’s $1.63-$2.72 billion expansion: No new terminals, just better experiences

Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths unveiled plans for Dubai International Airport (DXB) to undergo a $1.63-$2.72 billion expansion and makeover within the next 7 years, reinforcing the airport’s status as the world’s busiest international hub.

The redesign is aimed at boosting passenger capacity, creating better circulation, refining lounges via increasing check-in desks, adding new security scanners, and introducing “smart” technology across the operation.

Meanwhile, Dubai World Central Airport (DWC) continues to be the city’s second mega-airport and is currently being used primarily for cargo flights and select low-cost carriers. Emirates airlines had previously announced plans to eventually move to DWC, and make that airport its home. DWC can currently handle 32 million passengers annually, but once the expansion project is complete, the airport will handle up to 240 million passengers annually, nearly double the capacity of DXB. That’s a likely capacity for Emirates to move.

Read: Dubai airport named world’s busiest international airport again

“The expansion plans of DXB come as a much-welcomed boost to the hospitality sector in the UAE. The increased passenger traffic projection of 85 million passengers reflects the growing confidence in travel recovery, signaling renewed opportunities for our industry. The surge in arrivals and the anticipation of a strong rebound from all major markets paints a promising picture. The expansion will draw more business travelers seeking top-notch accommodations and conference facilities. This not only bolsters hotels but also sparks demand for services that cater to corporate guests,” Griffiths said.

The 85 million passengers milestone would represent an increase of over 50% from the 56 million passengers DXB handled in 2022.

DXB expansion: Comments

Ziad Nasr, General Manager of Acronis told Economy Middle East: “The recent surge in travel demand, highlights the growing need for advanced data protection and security measures within the industry, as ensuring cyber protection is no longer optional but vital, especially with the upcoming surge in footfall. Given the growing interconnectedness of systems at airports, protecting against cyber threats has become an absolute priority. Recent data from Acronis from July 2023 shows UAE’s cyber threat detection rate at 26.4%.”

Vijay Valecha, Chief Investment Officer, Century Financial said that every 10% increase in air connectivity brings about a subsequent 1.1% boost to the economy of the UAE.

Dubai International Airport (DXB) welcomed 41.6 million passengers in the first half of 2023, surpassing the 40 million passengers it handled during the same period in 2019.

“The growth in passenger traffic at DXB is being driven by a number of factors, including the reopening of China and the strong recovery in long-haul travel,” Valecha added.

Dubai’s Emirates posted a $3 billion profit for the year through March, and the city reported a record number of tourist arrivals in the first half.

Dubai Airports currently links to over 270 cities in over 130 countries around the world with the majority of these destinations served by Dubai International Airport (DXB).

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