World's latest mega-airport finally opens to passengers
October 28, 2013 -- Updated 2326 GMT (0726 HKT)
Following an official inauguration ceremony, the passenger terminal at Dubai's new Al-Maktoum International Airport received its first commercial passenger flight this weekend.
Open for business
First commercial arrival
Welcome to Dubai
More to come
- Dubai's new airport welcomed first commercial flight on Sunday
- When completed in 2027, Al Maktoum International Airport is expected to become the world's largest airport
- Although it only has three launch carriers, more deals are expected to be announced
(CNN) -- Dubai's aviation industry achieved its biggest milestone to date on Sunday, when the emirate's new airport welcomed the arrival of its first commercial flight.
Located in Jebel Ali and part of Dubai World Central, an "aviation city" that the government launched as a free economic zone, Al Maktoum International Airport is expected to become the world's largest airport upon completion.
Like the emirate's main airport, Dubai International Airport (located 50 kilometers to the north), Al Maktoum International Airport is owned by the government of Dubai and operated by Dubai Airports Company.
Although full commercial passenger services were originally scheduled for 2017, the mega project was delayed for years due to the regional financial crisis, and faces a new tentative completion date of 2027.
Dubai's mega-airport open for business
Study: Wider seats mean better sleep
Various reports estimate the total cost of the project at 120 billion dirhams ($32.67 billion).
The airport has been open for cargo flights since 2010.
Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air was the first airline to be welcomed at the new passenger terminal, and was greeted with a customary festive water salute.
Al Maktoum International Airport's two other launch carriers are Kuwait-based low-cost carrier Jazeera Airways and Bahrain's full-service Gulf Air, which also made its inaugural flight to the new airport on Sunday.
The UAE's state-owned carrier Emirates is expected to operate entirely out of the new hub by the time of completion.
More: Insider Guide: Best of Dubai
In the works
Gulf News has reported that more airlines are close to signing deals to use the new airport, with the Dubai Airports CEO hinting at more announcements to come.
Currently operating just one main runway, Al Maktoum will ultimately operate five runways with an annual capacity of 160 million passengers and 12 million tons of cargo.
To put those numbers into perspective, the world's current busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, serviced approximately 95 million passengers in 2012.
Dubai International Airport handled 57.7 million.
More: Camel-milk chocolate and other great Dubai souvenirs
Part of complete coverage on
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 0609 GMT (1409 HKT)
Maldives tops a select list. But where would you spend your ideal honeymoon?
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 0050 GMT (0850 HKT)
Asian airlines want to go places -- but they might not have enough pilots to get them there.
February 23, 2014 -- Updated 1704 GMT (0104 HKT)
Want thousands of Instagram followers? CNN's Jethro Mullen, who has hundreds of thousands, reveals his secrets.
February 19, 2014 -- Updated 1803 GMT (0203 HKT)
Interactive map showcases food and tells back story of cuisine from 10 major Japanese destinations.
February 20, 2014 -- Updated 1849 GMT (0249 HKT)
Underwater, over mountains, by the beach -- whatever your trip, there's a camera that'll capture it best.
February 19, 2014 -- Updated 0502 GMT (1302 HKT)
If your university memories comprise dull, dusty halls and cold, concrete classrooms, you probably didn't study at these places.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Once, five-figure hotel suites were a rarity. Now -- as the wold becomes populated with more millionaires -- they are an increasingly common feature at luxury hotels.
February 12, 2014 -- Updated 0628 GMT (1428 HKT)
New Zealand's Travel Photographer of the Year in 2013 shares his picks for best photo spots.
February 13, 2014 -- Updated 0606 GMT (1406 HKT)
On display for the first time at an airshow, the brand new extra wide bodied passenger jet has been one of the Singapore Airshow's major attention grabbers.
February 12, 2014 -- Updated 0601 GMT (1401 HKT)
Thousands of muay Thai fans came out for the final fight night at Bangkok's historic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, which has closed its doors forever.
February 5, 2014 -- Updated 1821 GMT (0221 HKT)
Carib resorts are enticing visitors with some interesting freebies and bonuses. Hand-rolled cigar, anyone?
February 13, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
As The Philippines launches a global campaign to thank the world for its help following last year's deadly typhoon, we highlight the best of its 7,000 assets -- those stunning islands.
February 7, 2014 -- Updated 2154 GMT (0554 HKT)
Where to go to see a space shuttle, watch Spitfires fly and tour an airplane graveyard.
February 4, 2014 -- Updated 0952 GMT (1752 HKT)
Young aviation junkie spends five years making exact miniature replica of Boeing 777 out of everyday material.
February 6, 2014 -- Updated 1017 GMT (1817 HKT)
Guns, grenades, human skull fragments and a lipstick pepper spray -- the TSA had a busy year in 2013, as a new report reveals.
Today's five most popular stories