Dubai World Central (DWC)
For details on Phase 2, please refer to the Fact File titled New
DWC Expansion Project
Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai’s second airport and the world’s future
hub in the making, is currently served by four passenger carriers,
operating an average of 74 flights weekly to more than 18 international
destinations and is home to 23 scheduled cargo operators that fly to as
many as 68 destinations around the world.
DWC opened its doors to passengers on October 27, 2013 with Wizz Air as the
launch airline. Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways launched services from October
31, 2013 while Gulf Air commenced flights from December 8, 2013.
DWC welcomed the launch of flydubai’s operations with the arrival of their
first flight on October 25, 2015. The airline will operate services to a
number of destinations from DWC as it continues its operations from Dubai
Dubai Airports launched cargo operations at DWC on June 27, 2010 as part of
the first phase of the project.
Passenger traffic at DWC totalled 517,813 passengers in the first half
of 2018, down 6.7% compared to 554,993 passengers recorded in the first
half of 2017.
Cargo volumes at Dubai World Central (DWC) grew to 475,190 tonnes in
the first half of the year, up 7.1% compared to 443,835 tonnes recorded
during the first half last year.
A total of 8 passenger carriers operate an average of 95 flights weekly
to more than 14 international destinations and 26 scheduled cargo
operators flying to as many as 70 destinations around the world.
Expansion of Existing Passenger Terminal
Dubai Airports announced earlier in 2015 a project to expand existing
passenger terminal at DWC to accommodate 26 million passengers per
annum by 2018.
The project is nearing completion and the expanded facility will open
shortly after the successful completion of a thorough testing and trial
As part of the existing passenger terminal expansion the check-in area,
baggage and immigration halls, and security screening areas will be
expanded while the forecourt will be improved to ensure easier access
to parking and drop-off areas.
Once complete the passenger terminal will provide a total of 24
boarding gates, 7 baggage reclaim carousels and an increase to 104
The project is a precursor to the $32bn expansion project announced by
Dubai Airports in September 2014 to create the world’s biggest airport
with an ultimate capacity in excess of 200 million passengers per year.
Expansion Quick Facts
Capacity – 26.5 million
Baggage carousels - 7 (up from 4)
Arrivals immigration counters – 40 (up from 16)
Arrivals smart gates – 5 (up from 4 but space for 20)
Check-in desks – 90 + 4 OOG (up from 40 + 2 OOG)
Business class check-in – 10 (new)
Total check-in – 104 (up from 42)
Departure boarding gates – 24 (up from 12)
Baggage system – 80 chutes, 8 transfers, 4,000 EBS, 6,000 bags per hour
(up from 4 make-up carousels, 1 transfer line 0 EBS)
Avg of 13 minutes for each bag through BHS
Hammerhead – new facility, 12 boarding gates, Business class
Parking – 2,542 (up from 759)
Area of PTB – 144,000 sqm
Remote a/c stands – 98 – largest in the world (up from 69)
Expanded taxi/limo staging area and pick up/drop off
DWC welcomed 904,940 passengers in 2017, up 6.4% compared to 850,633
passengers recorded in 2016.
Aircraft movements at DWC totalled 34,198, down 11.6% over the 29,380*
movements recorded in 2016.
DWC handled 972,295 tonnes of freight in 2017, up 8.3% compared to
897,998 tonnes recorded during 2016.
DWC is served by four passenger carriers operating over 74 flights
weekly to 18 international destinations.
DWC is home to 23 scheduled cargo operators that fly to as many as 68
destinations around the world.
DWC welcomed a total of 850,633 passengers in 2016, up 84.5 per cent
compared to 461,063 passengers recorded in 2015.
Air freight volumes at DWC showed a slight increase during 2016 with
897,998 tonnes, up 0.8 per cent compared to 890,912 tonnes during 2015.
DWC handled a total of 38,671 aircraft movements in 2016, a contraction
of 5.6 per cent compared to 2015 when the airport recorded 40,947
DWC handled 888,714 tonnes of freight in 2015, up 7.7 per cent from
824,933 tonnes recorded during 2014.
DWC welcomed 463,236 passengers during 2015, a contraction of -45.2 per
cent compared to 845,046 recorded during the corresponding period in
The slump is due to the surge in volumes created by the temporary
relocation of 300 weekly flights while the runway refurbishment
programme was conducted at Dubai International in 2014.
Aircraft movements in 2015 totalled 42,055 compared to 47,655 movements
during the same period last year, a decrease of 11.8 per cent.
DWC handled 758,371 tonnes of freight in 2014, a sharp increase of
262.5 per cent from 209,209 tonnes recorded during 2013. The spike is
fuelled mainly by the completion of the shift of all pure cargo flight,
including Emirates SkyCargo, from DXB to DWC in May 2014.
Annual passenger traffic in 2014 totalled 845,046 because of temporary
flights operated by some passenger airlines during the runway upgrade
project at DXB between May 1 and July 2014.
The increased activity in passenger and freight operations at DWC
propelled the number of annual aircraft movements by 91.6 per cent to
47,655 compared to 24,871 during 2013. The airport recorded 11,687
aircraft movements during the fourth quarter, up 47 per cent compared
to 7,948 during the corresponding period in 2013.
DWC handled 219,092 tonnes of air freight during 2012 – its second full
calendar year of operations, an increase of 144 per cent over 89,729
tonnes recorded in 2011.
Dubai Airports launched general aviation operations at DWC on April 28,
2011 with the first flight from launch customer Al Futtaim Services
Company. The launch of operations followed the General Civil Aviation
Authority’s regulatory approval for the facility on February 24, 2011.
Upon completion, DWC will become the world’s largest airport with an
ultimate capacity exceeding 220 million passengers and 16 million tonnes of
cargo per annum. The airport forms the heart of a greater project also
called Dubai World Central, a 140 sq km multiphase development of six
clustered zones that includes the Dubai Logistics City (DLC), Commercial
City, Residential City, Aviation City and the Golf City.
The development is the region’s first integrated, multi-modal
transportation platform connecting air, sea, and land.
Once completed, DWC will accommodate more than 240 mppa.
DWC will have a final cargo capacity of 16 million tonnes per annum.
The airport will have a total of five parallel runways, 4.5km long,
each separated by a minimum of 800m.
The central terminal area (of the main terminal) will incorporate
basements which will house a fully automated baggage handling system
capable of handling around 240 million bags per annum.
Located near the Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone, DWC will make air-sea
connectivity achievable in four hours
DWC is designed to support aviation, tourism, and logistics well into
Costs for the entire DWC development (including all clusters) has been
estimated more than US$ 32 billion (approx. AED 120 billion).