By Ed Attwood www.arabianbusiness.com
The UAE is planning to invest $133bn in its already highly advanced aviation infrastructure, the country’s minister of economy said on Wednesday.
“We have a world-class transport and communications network as well as some of the fastest growing airports and airlines in the world,” said Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri, according to state news agency WAM.
“Over the next 10 years the UAE will be investing 500 billion dirhams in its aviation infrastructure improving connectivity and cementing our reputation as a key growth driver in global aviation.”
Al Mansoori added that air traffic in the UAE had seen a 11.5 percent growth in the first half of the year.
The Dubai government has already earmarked massive sums for the continuing development of Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest in the world.
The emirate is also building the $33bn Dubai World Central project in Jebel Ali, which will hold what is planned to be the world’s biggest airport, Al Maktoum International.
Passenger services at Al Maktoum are expected to begin at some point next year.
Abu Dhabi’s airport is also undergoing significant restructuring, boosted by the growth of national carrier Etihad Airways.
The facility launched a third terminal in 2009, and is currently building the $1.2bn midfield terminal complex, which is expected to be finished in 2016.
The country has several other international airports, including Sharjah, Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, as well as a major executive airport at Al Bateen.