Dubai Int'l a top priority, says Sheikh Mohammed

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Dubai International Airport's expansion plan will remain a top priority, the emirate's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has said.

Sheikh Mohammed, also vice president and prime minister of the UAE, made his comments after a tour of Terminal 2.

The terminal houses state-of-the-art passenger and baggage facilities including a 200 metre long and 90 metre wide main hall which will increase the terminal area to nearly 60,000 sq m.

The terminal, which has been upgraded to handle 7.5 million passengers per year, will open the new hall on April 29, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Aviation Authority and chairman of Emirates Group added in comments published by news agency WAM.

During his tour, Sheikh Mohammed viewed the designs for the expansion of phases two and three of the terminal.

He said that Dubai Airport will remain at the top of his priorities as "it represents the face of the country and is the symbol of its culture and progress".

Sheikh Ahmed added that the terminal will be expanded and upgraded in phases to cater for the growing number of passengers using Dubai's budget carrier, flydubai.

Earlier this month, Dubai International was named the fastest growing airport in the world, as measured by annual seat capacity growth, according to the latest statistics from OAG, the aviation intelligence company.

The OAG FACTS (Frequency and Capacity Trend Statistics) report for April showed that 757,000 additional seats will be available from Dubai International compared to April last year.

The figures also show that the Gulf aviation hub has increased capacity by an average of 12 percent per year since 2004.

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