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
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 0626 GMT (1426 HKT)
Spooks have left their mark on a once-divided city still thought to be an espionage hotbed.
August 24, 2014 -- Updated 2206 GMT (0606 HKT)
With more than 6,000 years of history, Nanjing is one of the few cities in China still practicing the country's endangered traditional crafts.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
Rock and weather collide over millennia to create natural bridges. Here are 15 of our favorites from around the world.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0539 GMT (1339 HKT)
A one-nun brewing operation, Sister Doris is putting Germany's women beer makers on the map. Sort of.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0607 GMT (1407 HKT)
From Myanmar to Mickey Mouse, Stefan Zwanzger, aka The Theme Park Guy, gives his rundown of the best.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
Four hundred years after the death of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, her murderous exploits prove a grisly attraction.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1250 GMT (2050 HKT)
Formed by volcanoes and steeped in a rich history of Polynesian culture, Hawaii sounds more like a place in a fantasy novel rather than an American travel oasis.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 2356 GMT (0756 HKT)
Despite Kyoto's allure, until this year there's been a glaring absence from the city's travel scene -- a top tier, super-luxury hotel brand.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Why global adventurer Alastair Humphreys now looks for 'microadventures' close to home.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 1133 GMT (1933 HKT)
Don't order Corona and don't freak out when you see Jessica Alba without makeup and you might pass for local.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 2301 GMT (0701 HKT)
History buff? Hardcore surfer? These South Pacific islands have every traveler covered.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)
Airlines and airports are going high-tech to reduce your time in line.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 0858 GMT (1658 HKT)
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1832 GMT (0232 HKT)
Eight of the top 10 scoring cities in the Economic Intelligence Unit's annual Liveability Survey are in Australia and Canada.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 2221 GMT (0621 HKT)
When a man tells me to "trust him," my typical reaction is to run.
Today's five most popular stories