Sharjah Airport plans massive expansion project to expand beyond its modest regional role

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Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha command most of the attention in the Middle East where air transport is concerned, but on the periphery are airports that are expanding and improving their facilities as traffic builds back up again.

CAPA - Centre for Aviation recently chronicled the expansion at Kuwait Airport, where there is private sector involvement. That is not the case at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but there is the same level of ambition - in this case, to increase capacity from eight to 20 million passengers in a USD650 million scheme over three years.

Sharjah will probably never play a role approaching that of the three principal airports for the region, but the city carries more economic and cultural clout than is appreciated outside the Middle East, and the airport has the capability to expand beyond its modest regional role.

But first it has to prove that the current investment can help it attract flights from areas where it is now comparatively weak.

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