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Sun 19 May 2013 09:44 AM

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Al Maktoum Airport to double Dubai's private jet traffic

Executives at the new airport aim to get to 20,000 business jet movements a year by 2020

Al Maktoum Airport to double Dubai's private jet traffic

Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport is aiming to double private business jet traffic to around 20,000 movements a year by 2020 with the opening of a dedicated VIP terminal by the first quarter of 2015.

“We are going to have a dedicated terminal for private jets to be completed by the first quarter of 2015 and that will have all the operators at that terminal,” Rashed Bu Qara'a, chief operating officer at Dubai Aviation City Corporation, told a media roundtable at the company’s headquarters at Dubai World Central (DWC).

Bu Qara'a said three business jet operators were currently in talks to set up at the new terminal and he hopes the focus on Al Maktoum Airport would help to double the traffic for private jets in and out of the emirate.

“Dubai is a seven-star service. With the current movements [at] around 10,000 movements it [is] our objective to bring this to 20,000 movements... within the next seven years.”

The main terminal building will commence operations on October 27 with Hungary’s Wizz Air and Saudi Arabia’s nasair set to the first commercial airlines. However, Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman of DWC, said up to 25 airlines were in talks to set up operations to Al Maktoum International.

DWC opened for cargo operations in 2010, and has 36 all-cargo airlines operating from the site, which is based in Jebel Ali. Approval for general aviation operations – mainly involving private jets – was granted in 2011.

The emirate’s existing airport, Dubai International Airport is in the middle of a $7.8bn expansion programme. This month, it became the second-biggest airport in the world in terms of international passengers, according to data from Airports Council International.

The new facility at Al Maktoum International Airport will initially be able to cater for up to seven million passengers a year and Bu Qara'a confimed that so far AED22bn ($5.9bn) has been invested by the government in DWCX and AED2.5bn ($680m) has come from private investors.

Emirates Airline’s new pilot academy is also under construction at DWC and is set to open in late 2014 or early 2015.

On Thursday, it was also revealed Dubai real estate developer Emaar is one of a number of developers in talks for a villa and golf course project within the compounds of DWC.

Al Zaffin said the deal would be signed by the end of the year and he estimated that the project would “probably” be valued in the region of around AED1bn ($270m).

DWC also announced that new agent warehouses will be open for leasing in the first quarter of 2014.

Covering a total area of almost 8,700 sq m, with 5,443 sq m for warehouses and 1,373 sq m for office area, the new facilities will include amenities catering to new and existing customers from a variety of sectors.

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