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UAE Freezes Funds To Expand World’s Largest Airport



Plans to expand Dubai’s Al Maktoum airport, the Emirate owned and designed to be the world’s biggest and busiest Airport has hit a dead-end after funds running the project were frozen indefinitely.

According to sources speaking to the media, The expanded Al Maktoum was to have an annual capacity of more than 250 million passengers. Insiders state that the move to expand the airport was put on hold as Gulf Arab economies oscillate.

People involved in the project spoke to the media on anonymity stating that the set-aside and budgeted construction activity has been halted and finances for expansion frozen until further notice.

The completion date for the first phase of the airport envisaged as a $36 billion super-hub allowing locally based airline Emirates to consolidate its position as the world’s No. 1 long-haul carrier, had already been pushed back five years to 2030 in October.

In a statement to the media, Dubai Airports said it’s reviewing the long-term master plan stating that the exact timelines and details of next steps are not as yet finalized. The statement further said that it aims to ensure development takes full advantage of emerging technologies, responds to consumer trends and preferences, and optimizes investment.

According to Forbes records, Dubai’s economy slowly grew since 2010, and last year as the Gulf’s chief commercial center grappled with fallout from geopolitical tensions and a low oil price.

Even though the Emirates remains based at the original Dubai International hub as it mulls how best to develop its strategy of carrying passengers between all corners of the globe, tourism has been stagnant since 2017 because the company is finding it tougher to add profitable new routes, and it is reworking its fleet plans with the cancellation of the Airbus SE A380 super-jumbo.

The Capacity of Al Maktoum was to increase to 130 million passengers on completion of its first phase of expansion, according to the October update. The design ultimately calls for the hub to handle 260 million, based on prior statements, more than twice the customer total at the world’s busiest airports today.

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