DUBAI will have yet another superlative. This time the world's largest airport, Jebel Ali International Airport (JXB). To be built at a cost of Dhs30 billion, the airport could handle 120 million passengers a year. That will relegate the present topper, London's Heathrow with a throughput of 83.5 million, to the second rank.
Once completed, JXB will be the combined size of Heathrow and Chicago's O'Hare. Again, it will be ten times bigger than Dubai International Airport. The Department of Civil Aviation of the government of Dubai on Monday launched Jebel Ali Airport City (JAAC), a 140 square kilometre development. Central to the JAAC project is JXB.
Announcing the project at the ongoing Dubai air show, Dubai Civil Aviation Director for Engineering and Projects Khalifa Al Zaffin said the project is designed to serve Dubai's passenger and cargo air transportation needs until 2050 and beyond. It will have at least six parallel runways and as many concourses capable of handling more than 120 million passengers and more than 12 million tonnes of cargo per year.
The other Jebel Ali Airport City developments include Commercial City, Aviation City, Residential City, a Golf Resort, a Science and Technology Park and Exhibition City.
The Commercial City, the financial and business heart of the project, will house up to 850 towers ranging from 50 to 300 metres in height.