Dubai’s New Al Maktoum Airport Takes Wing


Sheikh Mohammed uveils a plaque to inaugurate the passenger terminal at new Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali on Sunday. Wam
Sheikh Mohammed uveils a plaque to inaugurate the passenger terminal at new Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali on Sunday. Wam


DUBAI, Oct 27 – Dubai has added another world-class airport to welcome its endless stream of international visitors with the much awaited Al Maktoum International Airport finally taking off today.  His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai formally inaugurated the passenger terminal at the new international airport.

Declaring the new airport to be a platform to develop Jebel Ali as an industrial and logistic hub that contributes to Dubai’s development in all aspects and diversify the UAE’s economy, Sheikh Mohammed said that the airport will be the biggest in the world once completed. He pointed out that an airport at Jebel Ali had always been in the mind of his father, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, one of the architects of the UAE. 

Sheikh Mohammed unveiled a ceremonial plaque installed in the entrance of the departure terminal commemorating the occasion of the inauguration, being the first phase of the airport’s construction sited in Dubai World Central Aviation City.

Sheikh Mohammed then went around the new airport, starting from the departure terminal. He stopped by the check-in counter and listened to an explanation from President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airlines Group Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum about the equipment and facilities that are constructed and deployed according to the highest standards and quality to secure most convenient logistic facilities for the passengers and to complete their processes in a time record.

Sheikh Mohammed then visited the passports control hall. The hall is operated by Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (DNRD). The hall consists of 10 departure counters and 16 arrival counters. He then toured the Dubai Duty Free and browsed through the variety of products.

Sheikh Mohammed and his guests witnessed the celebration with the first airplane landing at Al Maktoum International Airport. The first flight was Wizz Air Hungary Airlines, a low-cost airline with the network connecting Dubai with Central and Eastern Europe.

Sheikh Mohammed said, “Once we reach the crest of a mountain, we move to another one. We do that for our country and our loyal citizens”. He added “this is life; with perseverance and determination we move from one crest to another so our country remain an ideal model for development in all aspects of life”.

He directed departments’ managers concerned with operating and managing the new airport to continue developing their services to provide all necessary help for passengers as that airport is an important pillar in the tourism industry.

A large delegation of local dignitaries and aviation officials toured the facility following the unveiling of a commemorative display and welcomed the arrival of the first commercial flight, Wizz Air flight W6 2497 arriving from Budapest, Hungary. Also present were aircraft from Gulf Air and Jazeera Airlines both of which will commence operations at DWC soon.

“Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central will play a vital role in the future development of Dubai as a center for trade, commerce, transport and logistics and tourism. I am impressed by the efficiency and convenience of this new terminal,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports.

“The opening of this facility signals the historic beginning of a long-term plan to build the largest airport in the world to accommodate the tremendous passenger growth and contribute to the continued economic and social development of Dubai.”

The new passenger terminal offers full retail as well as food and beverage amenities. It is serviced by one A380 capable runway, 64 remote aircraft stands and has capacity for up to 7 million passengers per year.

Dubai Airports has thus far confirmed operations with three airlines. Wizz Air, which provides low-cost air transport across 30 countries with 16 bases across Europe, will provide non-stop services linking DWC to Central and Eastern Europe.

Jazeera Airways will commence operations with two weekly flights starting October 31st, 2013. Most recently, Gulf Air has announced its intention to start daily operations to Bahrain on December 8, 2013. Dubai Airports is in discussions with a number of other interested carriers.

“The location, convenience and compact nature of DWC are compelling attributes,” added Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “Airline and customer interest in this airport continues to grow and we hope to announce additional services in the near future.” The launch comes a month before the winner of the bid to host the World Expo 2020 will be revealed.—Agencies.


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