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The Abu Dhabi and Dubai International Airports have seen impressive growth in 2014 as the aviation industry in the UAE maintains an impressive upward curve.
According to experts, air traffic in the country is expected to double by 2030 with the main airports handling around 5,100 aircraft movements per day. This will pitchfork UAE as one of the top three aviation markets in the world behind China and USA in the next 20 years.
Last year was special for Abu Dhabi International Airport as more than 20 million passengers passed through its terminals, registering a 20 per cent annual increase. There was also a 12.8 per cent annual growth in cargo handled in the said airport.
The Abu Dhabi airport is undergoing ambitious expansion including the construction of the Midfield Terminal Complex which will help it deal with 40 million passengers by 2017. Around 20-25 per cent passenger growth is likely to be maintained this year with 25 million passengers expected to use its terminals.
Meanwhile, the Dubai International Airport edged out Heathrow Airport in 2014 to become the busiest airport in the world. Last year, around 70.4 million international passengers used the facilities at the airport, around 2.3 million more than what was handled at Heathrow.
The airport is also undergoing major upgrades as it prepares to handle around 100 million passengers annually by 2020. Last year, 4,000 meters of the northern runway was resurfaced while the southern runway was also revamped. This will have a big impact on the traffic as the aircraft arrivals will jump from 33 to 45 per hour.
Economic growth from the aviation sector is expected to contribute Dh194.5 billion to the UAE economy by 2020 and create up to 750,000 jobs.
• The Abu Dhabi International Airport shows 20% annual growth
• The Midfield Terminal Complex is expected to be ready in 2017
• Dubai International Airport handled record passengers in 2014
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer