A Response to a Rising Need
There is no doubt that aviation and airlines has been one of the most thriving industries in the past few decades, especially with the accelerated technological advances which facilitated transportation and communication worldwide.
With that exponential growth, the need to scale up the capacity of both aircraft and airports rose up as well.
To respond to the increasing demand, aerospace corporations have been in an ongoing race to offer aircraft models that can accommodate more passengers and accompany that with better performance.
On the other hand, countries have been working simultaneously at growing the capacity of their airports on one hand and their tourism industries on the other.
As the Middle East comprises some of the largest airports in the world (both in terms of area and number of annual passengers), we take a closer look in this article at the largest airport (area-wise) in this region in ascending order:
King Fahd International Airport
Spanning more than 780 square kilometers, King Fahd International Airport is technically the largest airport not only in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East but also in the entire world.
Located 12 miles northwest of Dammam City, King Fahd International Airport mainly serves the eastern region of Saudi Arabia.
It comprises a 6-story terminal as well as a terminal designated to the Saudi royal family, a Hilton hotel that encompasses 250 rooms, a mosque, and the headquarters for a CAE authorized aviation training center.
Dubai International Airport
With an annual number of passengers that exceeds 90 million, Dubai International Airport is the largest airport in the world in terms of the number of international passengers, but that’s not all the records it holds.
Globally, the airport is also the fifth busiest airport in terms of the total number of passengers as well as the sixth busiest cargo airport. It also houses the largest number of A380 aircraft, the largest airliner in the world, and Boeing 777.
One of the airport’s buildings, Terminal 3, is so far the largest airport terminal and the second-largest building in the world. Another noteworthy fact is Dubai International Airport utilizes the largest solar energy system in the Middle East.
It is worth mentioning that, with Expo Dubai 2020 looming ahead, the airport is expected to retain its ranks.
King Abdulaziz International Airport
As the primary international airport that serves Muslim Pilgrims annually, King Abdulaziz International Airport is the busiest airport in Saudi Arabia and one of the largest airports in the world in terms of a number of passengers which exceeds 80 million passengers annually.
However, King Abdulaziz International Airport is the largest globally not in terms of passengers or area, but rather in the number of aircraft it houses.
Right now, Saudi Arabia is developing a new phase for the airport which, once finished, will make the airport with the largest area in the world.
Just like King Fahd International Airport, this airport encompasses a Royal Hall for the ruling family of Saudi Arabia as well as a base for the Saudi air forces.