Conquering Our Skies – War Of The Airports By Harris Saseendran and Dr Sonia Selwin Business Studies Trainers at Bahrain Training Institute, Ministry of Education
The Gulf, just a layover destination? Nahhhh!
o Dubai just got a bigger airport. Again! ‘Dubai-zilla’ seems to be like a giant dinosaur that just gets bigger. The humble ‘City of Gold’ has gone ahead and opened the new Al Maktoum International Airport for a whopping cost of BD12 billion, supposedly ten times bigger than the earlier Dubai International Airport and expected to handle up to 160 million passengers by 2030 - thus making it the biggest airport in the world. (Hope my
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American buddies aren’t heart-broken that Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport has to give up its crown!) By the way, all those doomsday-sayers who predicted the collapse of Dubai’s economy four years back- take that – thirty two billion times! Since Gulf countries have always been on an Olympic marathon trying to outwit each other, let’s take a peek at how the rivals are doing. Presently, Saudi Arabia’s King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh is increasing its capacity from the present 12 million to 35 million passengers per year for a cost of BD300 million. Oman is
concreting its Muscat International Airport development project with an initial capacity of 12 million annual passengers for a cost of BD678 million. Kuwait yawns at those numbers making them look like pocket change by pumping in BD2.2 billion for its own international airport to handle 13 million passengers by 2016. Not to be outdone, Qatar has been dreaming about its own super-mega BD5.6 billion dream airport for some time now but unfortunately it still remains just a dream. The new Qatar airport that is supposed to be 12 times larger than the present overcrowded one is still in the