Al Maktoum Airport, Dubai, 2019

Dubai announced this week that the emirate’s Al Maktoum International Airport is about to get a massive $US32 billion expansion.

Since opening in 2010, the four year-old airport has been mainly used for cargo operations. Passenger service commenced last year.

With this announcement, the seaside emirate will have a second major international airport, in addition to the already palatial Dubai International — home to Emirates Airlines.

The Al Maktoum Airport will serve as the focal point for Dubai World Central, a purpose-built “airport city” located 23 miles outside of Dubai. The 54 square mile airport metropolis will feature everything from commercial, residential, and leisure developments to state-of-the art cargo and air passenger facilities.

Dubai Airports expects Al Maktoum to be able to handle more than 120 million passengers a year, making it the busiest airport in the world. The expansion, which is expected to take six to eight years to complete, will enable the facility to accomodate up to 100 Airbus A380 Superjumbos simultaneously.

If that’s not enough, Al Maktoum International Airport can be further expanded to handle up to 200 million passengers per year. By 2020, the airport is expected to support more than 322,000 jobs and account for as much as 28% of Dubai’s GDP.