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Wed 23 May 2007 02:17 AM

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UAE airport spend to hit $19bn

An unprecedented wave of spending includes expansion and construction of six airports across the UAE.

New airport projects in the UAE account for 60% of all airport investments in the Gulf, according to Gulf News. Spend is expected to reach $19.23 billion over the next few years across six airports, in comparison to a total $13.2 billion across the other five GCC countries.

Six airports are under development, with expansions at Dubai International and Abu Dhabi Airports, construction of the new Dubai World Central, and projects in Sharjah, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.

Dubai World Central, the largest investment at $8.2 billion, will handle 120 million passengers per

year. Work began earlier this year with the first runways due for completion by October. Construction has also begun on passenger, cargo and executive terminals, the control tower and the airport’s headquarters.

Government officials are preparing to announce further new developments in Dubai by the end of the year, the paper says.

Khalifa Suhail Al Zafein, director of engineering and projects for the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation, said there had been some construction difficulties. “There is a lot of progress happening, but it’s not easy,” He said. “In Dubai, all contractors are stretched right now.”

Research from the Streamline Marketing Group, organiser of the Airport Show taking place in Dubai next week, says major expansions are taking place across the broader region, with $59.78 billion committed to projects in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and the former CIS countries.

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