Why Does The UAE Have So Many Worldwide Airports?


After all, it’s common for international locations to have a number of worldwide airports; most do if they’ve a number of inhabitants facilities. The UAE, although, stands out, having greater than its inhabitants of simply 10 million would counsel. However with a number of Emirates inside the nation and two giant airways, this is smart.

Airports within the UAE

Everybody has heard of the massive airports at Dubai and Abu Dhabi, house to Emirates and Etihad. After all, these are each positioned in the identical nation, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). And they aren’t alone. There are a minimum of 12 airports with IATA codes and an additional 10 with ICAO codes within the UAE (largely small, personal, or govt airfields).


Of the IATA registered airports, the next are probably the most important:

  • Dubai Worldwide Airport (DXB). The house base of Emirates and the most important airport within the UAE (and the fourth busiest globally in 2019).
  • Abu Dhabi Worldwide Airport (AUH). The house of Etihad and the second largest airport within the UAE.
  • Al Bateen Govt Airport (AZI). A enterprise airport close to Abu Dhabi. It was the primary airport earlier than AUH was constructed within the Eighties.
  • Al Ain Worldwide Aiport (AAN). Northeast of Abu Dhabi, serving a number of regional flights.
  • Dubai World Central / Al Maktoum Worldwide Airport (DWC). It opened in 2010 and at present serving a number of airways regionally (most of the flights are seasonal). Large enlargement is deliberate, although, with completion anticipated in 2027.
  • Fujairah Worldwide Airport (FJR). It at present solely operates cargo flights.
  • Sharjah Worldwide Airport (SHJ). A major passenger and cargo airport within the north of the UAE. It’s the predominant base for low-cost airline Air Arabia and in addition serves a number of different Indian and Asian airways.
  • Ras Al Khaimah Worldwide Airport (RKT). Within the far north of the UAE, serving a number of regional flights, together with SpiceJet and Air Arabia.
  • Sir Bani Yas Airport (XSB). A small airport serving Sir Bai Yas Island within the south of the UAE. It used to have home service to Abu Dhabi, however this was dropped in 2017.

A number of Emirates in a single nation

To grasp why there are such a lot of airports, we have to have a look at the political make-up of the UAE. Whereas it’s one nation, it’s made up of separate Emirates; seven in complete ( Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain). Every of those Emirates has its personal land space, and its personal authorities, and Sheikh ruler.

The historical past and operation of those Emirates are an attention-grabbing dialogue however over the scope of this text. Importantly for this dialogue, every Emirate takes accountability for a lot of its personal insurance policies, controls, and monetary affairs (however passes some income to the central UAE finances).

Whereas they work collectively because the UAE, there stays a component of competitors (and differing technique) between the Emirates. And this has given rise to separate airports in every of the Emirates. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the 2 most vital examples. Every has its personal airline (with an related airport). However there may be additional competitors too; Abu Dhabi, for instance, controls a lot of the oil income; whereas Dubai has the most important metropolis and most inhabitants.

It isn’t stunning then that 5 of those Emirates have separate airports ( Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Sharjah). These serve both their very own airways or people who explicit Emirate has negotiated hyperlinks with. There are additionally commerce hyperlinks; a number of airports are used primarily for freight on behalf of that Emirates. And Ras Al Khaimah has a rising position below the Free Commerce Zone established in that Emirate.

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And two main airways

In addition to a number of Emirates with separate governments, the UAE has two predominant airways. Emirates and Etihad are each government-owned airways, however by separate Emirates. This explains why they each exist and function very individually; and why regardless of points through the years, there may be little likelihood of any merger between them.

These clearly account for the separate airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. And with important enlargement, they account for others too. Dubai World Central will evolve to be a brand new hub for Emirates, and Etihad has already outgrown its first airport, which nonetheless stays for personal flights. And with the shortage of home flights, this stays a world airport.

Would you prefer to share any ideas, or additional particulars, concerning the aviation panorama within the UAE? Tell us within the feedback. 


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