Dubai’s airport mega-hub begins its ascent

The palpable result of a bold and some say brave vision, a very large patch of sand looking out over the blue waters of Persian Gulf has been transformed into the new Dubai World Central (DWC)-Al Maktoum International Airport from which Dubai resolutely aims to stake its claim as the cargo hub of the world. Manfred Singh has the story.


Barely two weeks ago, when Atlas Air’s Boeing 747-400 freighter touched down marking the first scheduled freighter service into the new Dubai World Central (DWC)-Al Maktoum International Airport on behalf of Panalpina, DWC’s VP Cargo, Andrew Walsh, must have given himself a pat on the back.

Panalpina is not only a big-ticket global forwarder and supplier of logistics services, but its two weekly flights into Dubai as part of a round-the-world rotation connecting Luxembourg, Dubai, South Africa, Hong Kong, North America and Latin America is surely proof enough that Dubai’s position as a top international freight hub is assured.

Claus Schmidt, Panalpina’s Middle East area manager, was quoted saying that the flight was a milestone in Panalpina’s growth plans in the region.

“It links our new Middle East distribution centre at DWC with our network in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. “It also allows us to offer our customers a unique and highly flexible solution for time sensitive airfreight, including fast turnaround times from cargo arrival to delivery,” Schmidt said.

Besides Panalpina, there are around 50 companies specialising in logistics operation, professional services, trading and aviation within DWC. The main clients include DHL, Aramex, Kuhne & Nagel, Hellmann Calipar Logistics, RSA Logistics and a host of other smaller outfits.