The promise of the aerotropolis model in the United Arab Emirates: The role of spatial proximity and global connectivity

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9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article investigates whether the region surrounding Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) replicates the theoretical postulations of the aerotropolis model developed by Kasarda. Kasarda has argued achieving an effective aerotropolis requires situating companies close to the airport based on their frequency of use in order to lower transactional costs. Based on selfadministered questionnaires distributed to 306 cargo-related businesses, a Spearman rank correlation coefficient of 0.56 (p = 0.000) suggests a positive and moderate association between a firm's travel time to Dubai airport and the frequency of its use of airport facilities. About 76 % of businesses surveyed were located within <30 minutes' drive of Dubai Airport and reported shipping either daily or weekly through the airport. Such clusters of airport-oriented activities around the airport provide further insight into the detailed spatial organization of the aerotropolis urban form. Findings suggest that two different forms of aerotropolis have emerged in the UAE: Abu Dhabi and Dubai Airports appear to have had a more conventional urban evolution, while Al Maktoum Airport has been explicitly developed based on an "ideally planned" aerotropolis vision in a largely peripheral setting to accommodate the Dubai World Central megaproject.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-312
Number of pages24
JournalArab World Geographer
Volume16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Aerotropolis
  • Air transportation
  • Airport
  • Dubai
  • Land use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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