Dubai has been going great guns ! wonder what has got into it. It’s on an expansion and development spree. We had written about the Marriott group expansion there and also about the ‘bawadi’ project. But this one tops it all. By the end of 2007, the new Dubai World Central Airport and its six runways will be the world’s largest passenger and cargo hub capable of handling 120 million passengers – almost double London Heathrow’s current handling capacity. It will also have the capacity to handle 12 million tons of cargo annually, compared to Heathrow’s current 1.3 million tons. Dubai World Central Airport (JXB) will be 10 times larger than Dubai’s existing airport, Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Dubai Cargo Village combined. Now what’s truly breathtaking is that, this isn’t only an airport, it’s an entire city which stretches for 140 square kilometer. It’s a milestone in the urban planning history where the multi-phase development will take place around the airport. The self-sustaining development at Jebel Ali, some 40 kilometres south of Dubai city centre, originally had a working title of Jebel Ali Airport City.
It will be a new city where some 750,000 people will live and work. It encompasses of residential city – a combination of freehold and leased quality homes; commercial city – hundreds of office tower blocks, a golf course resort, and enterprise park. The project is the most strategically important infrastructure development launched by the progressive emirate to date. It is designed to support Dubai’s aviation, tourism, commercial and logistics requirements until 2050 and the infrastructure costs alone will run to £17.4 billion ( 32.3 billion USD). This is beyond doubt one of the most-awaited and magnificent developments and what more can we ask for than a chance to be witness to this megalomaniacal making.