Dubai is ready to unveil its massive new airport to passengers on Oct. 27 after a final go-ahead by its aviation authority.
"This really heralds a new era of Dubai becoming a two-city passenger airport," Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, told CNBC.
Al Maktoum International, a central component of the huge Dubai World Central commercial complex, can currently handle 7 million passengers a year. Once phase three of its expansion is complete around 2030, the facility is expected to boast five runways and eventually accommodate 160 million passengers per year. It would make it the largest airport in the world in terms of passenger capacity.
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"I think the future for aviation in Dubai, as it has been since 1960, is one of continuous and positive growth," Griffiths said.
The new airport has been open to cargo traffic since June 2010, and low-cost airlines are seen following first. Hungary's Wizz Air is already set to begin operations, and "serious talks" with three more airlines are underway.
Al Maktoum International is slated to replace Dubai's current airport, although no date has been set. In the meantime, Dubai International is undergoing its own $7.8 billion refurbishment program that will take it up to 100 million passengers a year by 2020.
"But our growth targets beyond that don't really allow us to continue to develop the existing airport, we just simply haven't got the room," Griffiths added.