Expansion programme set to boost Dubai's cargo capacity

17/09/2012 - Dubai Investment News Posted by Bob Brunskill
Expansion programme set to boost Dubai's cargo capacity

A major expansion plan announced by Dubai Airports is set to significantly increase the amount of freight cargo the city state can receive by air.Part of the multi-billion Strategic Plan 2020, it will see capacity for goods being flown in boosted to 3.1 million tonnes by 2018, something that could really help businesses based in the emirate.In the next few months, construction will begin on an extension to the Cargo Mega Terminal, adding 30,000 square metres and hiking capacity by 25 per cent.Existing cargo facilities Hall A and Freight Gate 1 are also to be refurbished to add to the amount of freight they can take in.Emirates will be the only airline to use the facilities and their additional capacity, Dubai Airports said."The new infrastructure responds to growing volumes of freight being transported through Dubai," said a statement from the company.It is expected that total cargo volumes at both of the emirate's airports will increase from 2.19 million tonnes in 2011 to 4.1 million tonnes by 2020, with a new transhipment facility also under construction.Vice-president of development at Dubai Airports Jeff Gould said all of the changes will take place in stages to ensure that the daily operations at the hubs are not disrupted."The new infrastructure will not only increase our capacity but go a long way to simplifying what has become an increasing complex cargo operation as the airport has grown," added senior vice-president of operations Chris Garton.It follows news earlier this month from the Ministry of Foreign Trade that business activity between Dubai and China has risen by 395 per cent in the last ten years, something that is sure to be bringing more freight from Asia into the United Arab Emirates.Retailers in the city state are also likely to want to capitalise on increased tourist figures by offering more merchandise for sale.Mall owner Majid Al Futtaim chief executive Iyad Malas recently told Reuters sales have risen by ten per cent so far this year, while there has been a 15 per cent increase in visitor numbers.