Dubai officials back airline service expansion

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- The heads of Dubai airport and the emirate's flagship airline say they are pushing ahead with ambitious growth plans even as much of the world's economy crumbles.

The rapidly expanding sheikdom is to open the first phase of a new $5 billion terminal on Tuesday and the Dubai carrier Emirates will move all its local operations to the facility by year's end.

Dubai Airport CEO Paul Griffiths shrugs off concerns that the financial crisis could scuttle further work on the project. He says that "this is not the time to blink" and that the global crisis won't stop plans to build a larger airport on the other side of the city-state.

Emirates CEO Tim Clark says the crisis isn't affecting the carrier's business plans.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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