It’s all part of a plan to transform DXB into a full-scale ‘smart’ airport, according to Dubai Airports’ CEO…

Dubai International Airport (DXB) is set to undergo a dramatic expansion and upgrade to become a full-scale ‘smart’ airport. The enhancements to DXB will come at an eye-watering cost of between Dhs6 billion and Dhs10 billion, according to Paul Griffiths, Dubai Airports‘ CEO.

In an interview with Gulf News, Griffiths said that over the next five to seven years, significant upgrades and enhancements would be made to improve the overall airport experience. This includes new commercial and restaurant partnerships, creating more circulation space, adding more lounges and relaxation areas, and increasing the number of check-in counters.

It’s all part of a wider plan to ensure DXB remains the world’s busiest international hub, and also becomes a full-scale ‘smart’ airport. Further planned technological advances could see the addition of new security scanners that don’t require removing liquids.

The expansion at DXB is intended to allow the airport to grow to its maximum capacity over the next 10 to 15 years.

Thereafter, it’s expected that operations will begin moving over to Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC). Earlier this year, plans were unveiled for DWC to be transformed into the world’s biggest airport by 2050, with a capacity to serve more than 260 million passengers.

maktoum international airport dubai

Plans are in place for Phase 1 to be complete by 2030, where it will support an annual capacity of 130 million. Phase 1 will include the completion of two more runways, Concourse 1 and the West Terminal building.

According to Griffiths, the immediate goal is to “invest significant amounts in expanding the operation at Dubai International Airport,” Griffiths. But once capacity is reached at DXB, and DWC is managing its current capacity of 32 million annual passengers, “we are going to have to look at the longer term for the new airport by the mid-2030s,” he added.