Construction of a new terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport is set to start in the second quarter of this year, its operator said on Wednesday.
Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) said it is currently evaluating tenders for the appointment of a general contractor for the Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC).
The project, which is expected to go live in the first half of 2017, is a key part of Abu Dhabi International's expansion plans.
The airport currently handles in excess of 12 million passengers per year and growth over the next 20 years is forecast to be robust, requiring additional facilities to accommodate the increased traffic demand.
The 700,000 sq m terminal building will help boost passenger numbers to 27-30 million per year.
The terminal project was formally approved by Abu Dhabi's government last week.
Khalifa Al Mazrouei, ADAC's chairman, said: "The approval of the Executive Council on the capacity expansion programme for Abu Dhabi International Airport confirms Abu Dhabi's commitment to deliver a world class airport for the emirate that will be on a par with the best international airports in the world.
"This development represents one of the largest investments by the government to deliver the needed infrastructure, in line with Abu Dhabi Plan 2030.
"ADAC looks forward to appointing the Midfield Terminal Building contractors and creating this key infrastructure asset for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi."
Abu Dhabi International Airport continues to be one of the fastest growing airports in the world, with record growth rates of 19.7 percent over the last five years, spurred by the rapid development of Etihad Airways and the UAE capital's emergence as a tourism attraction.
Further capacity increases in the existing terminals are also planned to handle increasing volumes of transfer passengers prior to the opening of the new terminal, ADAC said.