Name That Mystery Base in the UAE Desert

Military.com recently visited the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE. Seen here: RQ-4 Global Hawk on the flightline with KC-10s and an AWACS; and an F-22 stealth jet. (Photos: Oriana Pawlyk/Military.com)
Military.com recently visited the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE. Seen here: RQ-4 Global Hawk on the flightline with KC-10s and an AWACS; and an F-22 stealth jet. (Photos: Oriana Pawlyk/Military.com)

Anyone know anything about what looks like a new airbase being built in the UAE?

I first noticed it on Google Maps about a year ago. It looks like a military airfield is under construction just outside the desert town of Madinat Zayed about 80-90 miles southwest of Abu Dhabi. I called the press office at UAE embassy here in DC to ask about the base when I first saw it. They were very polite and apologized for not being able to discuss it.

The UAE has several airfields used by a variety of foreign militaries; from the Gulf Air Warfare Center at the massive Al Dhafra Air Base to the open secret that is -- or was -- Camp Mirage.  Anyone know who might be operating out of this new facility?

From afar the field looks like it's close to completion, with what might be dispersal pads for aircraft to park on. Zoom in, however, and all you'll see are the very beginnings of construction.

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