Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid tours Abu Dhabi's Zayed International Airport

Vice President praises UAE as a global leader in aviation

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, praised Zayed International Airport's Terminal A for its commitment to sustainability. Wam
Powered by automated translation

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, on Tuesday hailed the UAE's rise as a global travel centre after touring Abu Dhabi's Zayed International Airport.

Sheikh Mohammed underlined the nation's continued success in the travel and tourism sector after being briefed on ambitious plans for the future of the capital's state-of-the-art airport, renamed in February in honour of UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Previously known as Abu Dhabi International Airport, the impressive hub is home to the $3 billion Terminal A, which opened in November.

The vast airport, which spans 742,000 square metres, has the capacity to handle up to 45 million passengers a year.

The Vice President praised Terminal A for its commitment to sustainability and the ease of travel provided to passengers, state news agency Wam reported.

Sheikh Mohammed was joined on his visit by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, chief executive of Emirates Airline and president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, as well as a number of other officials.

UAE travel boom

Abu Dhabi's flagship airport is set to be a driving force behind the growth of the country's aviation sector, which will also be buoyed by expansion plans in Dubai.

Zayed International Airport's passenger traffic surged by 36 per cent annually in the first quarter of 2024, recording a rise in travel demand after opening its new terminal and attracting more airlines.

The airport, which is home to Etihad Airways, handled more than 6.8 million passengers in the first three months of the year, state-owned operator Abu Dhabi Airports said in April.

Dubai announced last month that it is building a new passenger terminal at Al Maktoum International – the emirate's second airport, also known as Dubai World Central.

The new terminal at DWC aims to boost capacity to 260 million passengers.

Once complete, the airport will have the world's largest capacity and will be five times the size of Dubai International Airport (DXB), currently ranked top globally in terms of international passenger traffic.

DXB expects to handle a record 91 million passengers this year, as demand for travel continues to surge and local airlines Emirates and flydubai boost their networks.

The airport handled more than 23 million passengers in the first three months of this year – up 8.4 per cent annually – marking its “busiest quarter in history”, operator Dubai Airports said on Tuesday.

January recorded the highest traffic, at 7.9 million passengers.

Abu Dhabi airports through the years – in pictures

Updated: May 22, 2024, 4:35 AM