When the airport becomes operational next year, it will be one of the world’s largest passenger and cargo hubs with five runways, four terminals and the capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo per year.

Ram Menen, divisional senior vice-president of the airline Emirates, believes the airport will prove attractive to foreign investors.

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“The fact that the airport is connected to Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone by a bonded road, which cuts transfer times significantly, is a strong sales point,” he said. “Al Maktoum airport will play an increasingly important role – initially for spot cargo operations driven by customer need and eventually for scheduled freighter services.

” The airport is part of the $33bn Dubai World City project, an integrated logistics platform providing transport, logistics and related services such as manufacturing and assembly in a single bonded free-zone environment.