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Sat 3 Dec 2005 04:00 AM

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Jebel Ali airport to fly future UAE flag

Jebel Ali Airport City tenders are set for take-off during early 2006.

Tenders for the US $8.1 billion (AED30 billion) Jebel Ali Airport City (JAAC) project are expected to be out by January next year.

The city is being promoted as the world’s first integrated logistics and multi-modal transport platform. The contract will cover infrastructure and facilities construction, which is expected to begin by the second quarter of 2006.

The JAAC project will cover 140 km2 and will include not just an airport, but also several smaller cities, which will cater to the financial, industrial, service and tourism industry needs, connected to the aviation industry.

The core of the city will be one of the world’s largest airports. The airport at Jebel Ali will be built 40 km from the existing Dubai International Airport, adjacent to Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Free Zone. A strategic road network linking the airport to the different emirates and other GCC countries, will surround the development.

The project will be completed in phases. The first, costing US $547 million (AED2 billion) will include the Logistics City and one runway. When completed, the airport will have the capacity to handle 120 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo per year. All facilities will be equipped to handle new generation aircraft, including the A380.

The Airport City is a master plan designed to cater not just to the growing travel and tourism demands but also to the industries that are progressively being established around the Jebel Ali industrial belt.

“The longest journey starts with the first step and this is a giant leap ahead for Dubai’s growing aviation infrastructure,” said Khalifa Al Zaffin, director engineering and projects, at the Department of Civil Aviation in Dubai.

He added: “We had to start work on this project nearly ten years ahead of schedule due to the rapid growth of Dubai. “The project’s design is being finalised and the tendering process has started for a project which has been conceived in order to ensure that Dubai will not be hampered by capacity constraints.”

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