$36 billion expansion plans for Dubai’s Al Maktoum International airport put on hold

The capacity expansion was supposed to pave the way for it to replace Dubai International, currently the world’s busiest for international travelers, and to become the new base of airline Emirates. A timeframe for completion has not been provided.

According to sources familiar with the matter at hand, the expansion of Dubai’s second airport, Al Maktoum International, which would have handled 120 million passengers a year by 2025 has been delayed.

Al Maktoum International, which opened to passengers in 2013, wanted to be the worlds’ biggest; it now handles only a fraction of Dubai’s air traffic passengers.

While five sources have confirmed the delay in expansion plans, they did not provide a reason for delay or the timeframe for its completion. According to two sources, the project was being redesigned.

In 2017, Dubai had secured a $3 billion loan to develop the airport. The loan has yet to be used, said a source.

Two sources said, the second stage of financing, which was to be backed by foreign credit agencies, has been delayed indefinitely.

Dubai Airports, a state-owned enterprise, declined to comment on the delay. It stated, its aim was to “continuously” update masterplans for Al Maktoum International as well as the main airport Dubai International in order “to embrace the latest thinking in technology, processes and customer-friendly service design principles”.

Dubai’s Department of Finance, which raised the $3 billion loan last year in a consortium, declined to comment.

The capacity expansion was supposed to pave the way for it to replace Dubai International, currently the world’s busiest for international travelers, and to become the new base of airline Emirates.

Dubai expects to incur nearly $36 billion on the Al Maktoum International airport as well as on the Dubai World Central aviation complex where it is located.

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