Dubai airport to be no. 1 next year – Sheikh Ahmed

Chairman of Emirates Airline also says hub will accommodate all of carrier’s A380s

Dubai International Airport will overtake London Heathrow to become the world’s busiest civil aviation hub by next year, according to Dubai Airports chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Sheikh Ahmed, who is also chairman of Emirates Airline, told reporters on Wednesday that the airport’s operator was also working to raise capacity to accommodate more Airbus A380 superjumbos for the Dubai carrier, according to Bloomberg.

“We are going according to plan to accommodate all A380s,” Sheikh Ahmed was quoted as saying. “Hopefully within one year from now we would be number one.” Emirates currently has about 90 double-decker A380s on order. Dubai opened a dedicated facility for the aircraft earlier this year.

Dubai International Airport’s annual traffic report showed that 57.6m passengers passed through the hub last year, a 13.2 percent increase compared to 2011. The statistics made Dubai the world’s third busiest airport, overtaking Hong Kong International Airport.

Officials at Dubai have previously said that it was on target to overtake London Heathrow, the world’s busiest, by 2015.

Heathrow is near its capacity of 68m passengers a year, while Dubai International is expected to accommodate 90m people per year by 2018 due to expansion work.

Dubai’s growth has been rapid, rising from the 99th largest international airport only 11 years ago.

The world’s largest A380 facility opened at Dubai International's Terminal 3 in early January, while the airport’s freight capacity is due to be expanded by 25 percent to 1.5m tonnes per by 2018.

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Posted by: BigBen

LHR : flight connections - 3rd world
CDG : passport - french arogance
ORD : 3 hrs wait to bags
FCO : just dreadful

DXB : honestly I choose to ignore the duty free- we all have a choice right ? The A concours Lounge is excellent a straight to the gate, though I will never understand the architect who designed the lift doors and the walk around the economy gate to get to the skybridge.

Emirates : well they upgraded my entire family including kids on 2 reward bookings this summer.

Skywards : sure its harder to retain gold (i'm silver for 1st time in 12 years) but the nightmare of the packed T3 lounges has gone.

BA - 3 transatlantic flights and not enough miles to smoke a shisha

All in all - keep it up DXB you are doing well compared to the rest

Posted by: irene

I really do think that the comments regarding emirates are exagerated. Indeed their skywards program is a disgrace as you have points but you can't use them, you have to fly twice as much to be gold or silver therefore the program has become rubbish but this does not diminish the Emirate's service because by comparaison Ethihad makes you think you are on Ryan Air and Qatar on Easy Jet! Emirates compares to British Airways but is still better than British airways so yes they are in the top seat but they have to stop with their autosatisfaction or it will soon go down the drain like their skyward program.

Posted by: Simon McNicholas

Sadly, the nightclub and shopping mall ambiance of the airport and the arrogant taxi drivers from Pakistan will ensure that Dubai airport will never be No.1.

Posted by: Dean

Doesn't matter how flashy you make an airport it is the service that matters. First sought out the arrogant staff at passport control!

Posted by: SA1

I have been travelling for 9 years multiple times a year frm DXB.....never every had to face any arrogant passport control fact I found them much more professional then my home country staff.

Posted by: John Swansea

I think that is an unfair evaluation. They may not be all smiles and chatty, but that doesn't mean they are arrogant. I travel extensively and have very rarely come across a smily and chatty passport control office!

Posted by: Robert

Please try and get this right.

Dubai will become the world's busiest INTERNATIONAL airport - but in terms of passenger numbers Atlanta and Beijing remain well ahead fuelled by their substantial domestic traffic.

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