Dubai airport to close northern runway for 45 days from May 9 for upgrades

A number of passenger flights will be redirected to Dubai World Central, the emirate's second hub

Dubai International Airport will continue to operate flights throughout the 45-day refurbishment period, but at reduced capacity. Photo: Dubai Airports

Dubai International Airport will close one of its two runways for 45 days from May 9 to June 22, temporarily reducing capacity at the world's busiest international hub for upgrade work.

The northern runway will be shut for refurbishment to ensure continued safety and efficient operations, operator Dubai Airports said on Tuesday.

"While regular runway maintenance is scheduled on a weekly basis, more extensive upgrades such as the one planned require a complete closure of the runway," it said.

"Dubai Airports continues to invest in developing and maintaining its infrastructure to enhance customer service quality and capacity and maintain its position as the world’s busiest international airport."

Dubai International Airport is the base for long-haul airline Emirates and discount carrier flydubai. The last time this level of work was carried out on the northern runway was in 2014, while in 2019, the hub closed its southern runway from April 16 to May 30 for resurfacing and replacement of ground lighting.

The airport will continue to operate flights throughout the 45-day refurbishment period, but at reduced capacity.

Some flights will be redirected to Dubai World Central, the emirate's second airport, to limit the impact on service during the closure period, Dubai Airports said.

Changing face of Dubai International Airport

"Dubai Airports has provided advance notice to all airlines to plan for flight reductions and schedule planning accordingly," the operator said.

Passengers who are scheduled to travel to or from Dubai during the runway closure period must check with their respective airlines regarding the airport and/or terminal of arrival and departure ahead of their trips.

More information will be provided as plans develop and as flight schedules are finalised, Dubai Airports said.

Flydubai confirmed on Tuesday that it will operate flights to 34 of its 90 destinations from DWC during the runway refurbishment period "to ensure minimum disruption to passengers’ travel plans".

Flights to all other destinations will continue to operate from Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport.

Following the completion of the runway refurbishment project, flydubai will resume its flights to all destinations from Dubai International Airport, it said.

"As we saw in 2019, runway enhancement programmes continue to support the long-term vision for Dubai as it reinforces its position as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs," flydubai’s chief executive Ghaith Al Ghaith said.

By operating from DWC "we aim to provide our passengers with as much choice as possible to travel across our network with minimum disruption as more countries open up for travel”, he added.

Dubai International Airport recorded a 12.7 per cent increase in annual passenger traffic in 2021, driven by a strong fourth quarter, to retain the title of the world's busiest international hub for the eighth consecutive year.

The airport, a key source of revenue for Dubai, handled 29.1 million passengers last year, exceeding its forecast of 28.7 million.

Dubai Airports is projecting the number of passengers who will pass through the airport by the end of 2022 to double to 57 million, as key markets reopen and more countries relax PCR-testing rules for vaccinated passengers.

Destinations diverted to DWC

  1. GCC: AlUla, Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Jeddah, Kuwait, Madinah, Muscat, Najaf, Riyadh, Salalah and Yanbu
  2. India: Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow and Mumbai
  3. Africa: Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Entebbe and Khartoum
  4. Pakistan: Karachi, Multan, Quetta and Sialkot
  5. Others: Chattogram, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Mashhad
Updated: March 22, 2022, 6:24 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS