Al Maktoum International Airport

Al Maktoum International Airport

Dubai Airports - Al Maktoum International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner Government of Dubai
Operator Dubai Airports Company
Serves Dubai
Location Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates
Opened 27 June 2010[1]
Time zone UAE Standard Time (UTC+04:00)
Elevation AMSL 170 ft / 52 m
OMDW is located in United Arab Emirates
Location in the UAE
Direction Length Surface
m ft
12/30 4,900 16,076 Asphalt
Sources: UAE AIP[2]

Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International Airport (ICAO: OMDW) is the official name of a major international airport in Jebel Ali, 37 kilometres (23 mi) south west[2] of Dubai, United Arab Emirates that opened on 27 June 2010.[1] Previous working names have included "Jebel Ali International Airport", "Jebel Ali Airport City", and "Dubai World Central International Airport". It has been named after the late Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the former ruler of Dubai. It will be the main part of Dubai World Central, a planned residential, commercial and logistics complex scheme. World Central is the world's first truly integrated logistics platform,[3] with most transport modes, logistics and value-added services, including manufacturing and assembly, in a single free economic zone.[4] The new airport will cover an area of 55,000 acres (220 km2). The airport is referred to as "the world’s first purpose-built aerotropolis",[5] with a projected annual capacity of 12 million tonnes (12,000,000 long tons; 13,000,000 short tons) of freight and between 160 million[6] and 260 million passengers, an ambitious goal that is twice the capacity of any other planned development worldwide.[7] Currently, however, only a handful of airlines operate out of Al Maktoum International Airport in terms of passenger services, which just recently began in late 2013.[7]



The 4,900 m × 60 m (16,080 ft × 200 ft) runway was completed within its projected 600 day construction period and subsequently underwent tests over the following six to eight months in order to fulfil its CAT III-C requirements.[8] Construction of the airport's cargo terminal, the Al Maktoum Airport Cargo Gateway, which cost around US$75 million, was 50% complete by the end of 2008.[9]

During the first phase of the project, the airport is planned to handle around 200,000 t (200,000 long tons; 220,000 short tons) of cargo per year, with the possibility of increasing to 800,000 t (790,000 long tons; 880,000 short tons).[9] The passenger terminal at this phase is designed to have a capacity of 5 million passengers per year.[10] By 2013, it is planned to be the largest airport in the world in terms of freight handled, moving up to 12 million tonnes (12,000,000 long tons; 13,000,000 short tons) per year.[9]

The project was originally expected to be fully operational by 2017, although the 2007–2012 global financial crisis subsequently postponed the completion of the complex to 2027.


  • Al Maktoum International Airport opened on 27 June 2010 with one runway and only cargo flights.[1]
  • The first flight into the airport occurred on 20 June 2010, when an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777F landed after a flight from Hong Kong. The flight served as a test for various functions such as air traffic control, movement of aircraft on the ground, and security. According to Emirates, the flight was an "unmitigated success".[11]
  • On 24 February 2011, the airport was certified to handle passenger aircraft with up to 60 passengers, though according to Dubai Airports Company, Al Maktoum's operator, regular passenger flights were not expected to begin until late 2011.[12]
  • The first passenger aircraft touched down on 28 February 2011, an Airbus A319CJ.[13]
  • The airport officially opened for passenger flights on 26 October 2013 with Nas Air and Wizz Air as the two carriers to operate from the airport.[14]

In the first quarter of 2014, 102,000 passengers went through the airport.[15]

Airlines and destinations

At the time of its opening, three cargo service airlines served Al Maktoum International Airport, including RUS Aviation, Aerospace Consortium and European Cargo Services. Fifteen additional airlines have signed a contract to operate flights to the airport.[16]


Airlines Destinations
Air Berlin Seasonal charter: Berlin-Tegel
Gulf Air Bahrain
Jazeera Airways Kuwait
Jet Time Seasonal charter: Copenhagen, Stockholm-Arlanda
Kyrgyzstan Air Company Bishkek[17]
Neos Air Seasonal charter: Bari, Bologna, Catania, Milan-Malpensa, Naples, Rome-Fiumicino, Verona
Primera Air Seasonal charter: Malmö, Stockholm-Arlanda
Qatar Airways Doha [18]
Rotana Jet[19] Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas
TUIfly Seasonal charter: Hannover
VIM Airlines Charter: Makhachkala
Wizz Air Bucharest, Budapest, Sofia[20]


Airlines Destinations
Cathay Pacific Cargo Amsterdam, Hong Kong, London Heathrow, Milan Malpensa, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Emirates SkyCargo Houston-Intercontinental, Kano, Khartoum, Lagos, Lilongwe, Los Angeles, Lyon, Mexico City, Milan Malpensa, Moscow-Domodedovo, Mumbai, Nairobi, Quito, Sana'a, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Sydney, Tunis, Zaragoza[21]
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi, Chittagong, Hong Kong, Kabul, Shanghai, Tbilisi[22]
Kalitta Air Amsterdam, Bahrain, Kandahar, Hong Kong
Martinair Cargo2 Amsterdam, Bahrain, Chennai, Hong Kong [23]
MASkargo Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur[24]
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul-Atatürk

2Martinair use aircraft in KLM colour scheme on these routes.


Al Maktoum International Airport layout (2006 model)

At the heart of this huge new community is the Al Maktoum International Airport, planned as the world's largest passenger and cargo hub, spans over 220 square kilometres (85 sq mi), is ten times larger than Dubai International Airport which covers an area of 34 square kilometres (13 sq mi) and Dubai Cargo Village combined.

If completed as planned, the airport will have an annual cargo capacity of 12 million tonnes (12,000,000 long tons; 13,000,000 short tons), and a passenger capacity of up to 160 million people per year— which would be more than Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which handled 94,956,643 million people in 2012, and is currently the world's busiest passenger airport.[25]

Designed for the future, Al Maktoum International Airport proposes to handle all next-generation aircraft, including the Airbus A380 super-jumbo.[26] Up to four aircraft will be able to land simultaneously, 24 hours a day, minimizing in-air queuing.

The airport will include:

  • Five parallel runways, 4,900 m (16,100 ft) in length, each separated by a distance of 800 m (2,600 ft). Six runways were originally planned, but the number was reduced to five in April 2009
  • Three passenger terminals, including two luxury facilities; one dedicated to airlines of The Emirates Group, the second to other carriers, and the third dedicated to low-cost carriers.
  • Multiple concourses
  • Sixteen cargo terminals with a 12-million tonne capacity
  • Executive and royal jet centres
  • Hotels and shopping malls
  • Support and maintenance facilities: the region's only hub for A-, B-, and C-Checks on all aircraft up to A380 specifications
  • Over 100,000 parking spaces (probably underground) for airport staff and passengers
  • Al Maktoum International Airport and the existing Dubai International Airport will be linked by a proposed high-speed express rail system
  • Al Maktoum International Airport will also be served by the Dubai Metro and a dedicated Dubai World Central light railway


The airport is planned to have five 4,900 m (16,100 ft) parallel runways, with a large passenger complex in the middle. Three runways would straddle at one side of the complex while two more would be located at the other side. Furthermore, each runway would have extended asphalted pathways on either side which would allow aircraft to by-pass other runways and taxiways without disturbing aircraft movements of these runways and taxiways. The airport is the largest component of Dubai World Central. If completed as planned, it will be the world’s largest airport, with 160 million passenger per year capacity and a cargo capacity of 12 million tonnes (12,000,000 long tons; 13,000,000 short tons) per year.[27] Its large runways and the distance between them would allow simultaneous takeoffs and landings.

Dubai expectations of an exponential rise in passenger traffic over its skies is built on the presumption that it would become the ideal air hub for transiting travellers from the Asia-Pacific Region, South Asia, Greater Middle-east, Africa, Europe, and Australia (for the Kangaroo route, i.e., Australia to Britain and vice versa).

Upon completion it will be the second largest airport in land area (physical size). Only two other airports are/were larger than Dubai World Central:

  1. King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, Saudi Arabia: 780 km2 (300 sq mi) of physical land area
  2. Montréal-Mirabel International Airport in Montreal, Canada: (392 km2 (151 sq mi) as originally planned in 1969, but as of December 2006, only about 50 km2 (19 sq mi))

The facility, however, will initially service cargo airlines. Several large warehouses and hangars line the westernmost part of the airport. These interlinked hangars will stretch from end-to-end of the westernmost runway. Each of these is capable of housing A380 aircraft.

The airport will complement Dubai International Airport, some 40 km (25 mi) away. The airport itself is surrounded by a large logistics hub, a luxurious golf resort, an expansive trade and exhibition facility (3 million square metres of exhibition space, making it the world's largest), a massive commercial district, and a spacious residential area.[28]

Due to the massive physical scale of the masterplan, some claim that the Al Maktoum International Airport is be the most ambitious airport ever envisioned. The latest estimates by the government amount to an $82 billion price tag.[29]


Dubai World Central—the whole complex, not just the international airport—will have a total of 100,000 parking slots for automobile vehicles for its employees, Dubai residents, tourists, and other users.[30]


  1. ^ a b c Dubai World Central celebrates inauguration of Al Maktoum International Airport at the Wayback Machine (archived August 31, 2010)
  2. ^ a b United Arab Emirates AIP (login required)
  3. ^ Two more firsts from Dubai at the Wayback Machine (archived March 14, 2010)
  4. ^ "A whole new world". venturemagazine - Ventureonline. Schofield Publishing Ltd. 20 Jun 2007. Archived from the original on 23 23 Nov 2013. 
  5. ^ "Dubai World Central announces key MRO partnerships at Dubai Airshow". Emirates 24/7 (Dubai: Dubai Media Incorporated). 21 Nov 2013. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. Retrieved 23 Nov 2013. 
  6. ^ "AIRPORT BUILT FOR THE FUTURE". - Dubai World Central. Dubai World Central. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Flottau, Jens; Osborne, Tony (17 September 2014). "First Phase Of Dubai World Central To Be Ready In Six To Eight Years". Aviation Week. 
  8. ^ "Al-Maktoum International, formerly Dubai World Central, runway complete". Flightglobal. Reed Business Information. 5 Nov 2007. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c Staff Writer (2008, January 7) Dubai Cargo Village announces major restructure
  10. ^ "Dubai opens second airport". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 28 June 2010. Archived from the original on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "PICTURES: SkyCargo 777 tests new Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport". 21 June 2010. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "No airline operations at Al-Maktoum before fourth quarter". 24 February 2011. Archived from the original on 24 February 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  13. ^ "First Passenger Aircraft landed". Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  14. ^ "New Dubai World Central international airport to open passenger terminal in October". 3 April 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Al Maktoum International airport begins operations". Gulf News. 27 June 2010. Archived from the original on 30 June 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  17. ^ by JL (5 November 2013). "Kyrgyzstan Air to Start Bishkek – Dubai Al Maktoum Service from Dec 2013; Airline Route – Worldwide Airline Route Updates". Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  18. ^ "QATAR AIRWAYS EXPANDS SERVICES TO UAE: Additional Routes to Sharjah and Dubai World Central" (Press release). Doha: Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department. 27 Oct 2013. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  19. ^ moves to AUH and DWC
  20. ^ "WizzAir to Launch 4 New Routes to Dubai Al Maktoum from late-October 2013". UBM Live. 3 Apr 2013. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  21. ^ Emirates Skycargo timetable search
  22. ^ ETIHAD Cargo Planned W13 Operations
  23. ^ MP Cargo winter 2012 timetable
  24. ^ MASkargo network
  25. ^ "The new Al Maktoum International Airport opens in Dubai tomorrow and will be the worlds busiest airport". Dubai Informer. Archived from the original on 30 June 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  26. ^ "Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai (DWC/OMDW)". Airport Technology. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2013-11-04. 
  27. ^ Zeidan, Ghaleb (2009, November 9) Dubai Aviation City Corporation Executive Chairman outlines Dubai’s strategic focus on transport and logistics at SITL Dubai 2009
  28. ^ Press Release (2007, Nov 11) Dubai World Central DUBAI WORLD CENTRAL AVIATION CITY MASTER PLAN LAUNCHED
  29. ^ "Zawya Projects". Retrieved 2013-11-04. 
  30. ^ "Al Maktoum International Airport uae | dubai world central international airport | region's biggest airport, dubai world central uae | new airports UAE, dubai". Retrieved 2013-11-04. 

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • The Official Dubai World Central web site.