Runway work at Dubai's giant main airport - the busiest international airport in the world - will mean disruption for a third of flights including some flights from New Zealand.

Emirates is cutting back flights from New Zealand during the runway resealing, reducing frequency on the non-stop Auckland to Dubai service from daily to six times a week while the Auckland-Denpasar-Dubai flight will not revert to daily until May 31, around the time the work is scheduled to finish.

Some other flights through Dubai International Airport are being diverted to a second airport, Dubai World Central, or to neighbouring Sharjah.

Budget carrier flydubai will operate more flights from the second airport while other carriers including Air India and Air India Express will move to Sharjah.

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Dubai Airports overnight said operations teams were "good to go" for the 45-day long refurbishment of the southern runway at Dubai International (DXB). The runway is nearing the end of its design life and requires a complete upgrade to accommodate future traffic growth.

Emirates uses DXB as its global hub and earlier this year warned the southern runway closure would result in up to 48 Emirates aircraft not being utilised, with a 25 per cent reduction in the overall number of flights operated by the airline during the 45-day period.

More than 90 million people pass through Dubai International every year, making it the busiest airport for international traffic, ahead of London Heathrow.

Dubai Airports said the runway is nearing the end of its design life and requires a complete upgrade to accommodate future traffic growth.

Planning and preparations have been underway for almost two years, said Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports.

Once the runway closes tomorrow more than 90 construction vehicles enter and exit every hour, transporting more than 18,500 truckloads of concrete, asphalt, materials and personnel. More than 1900 workers will be involved in the project.

The work is planned for a quieter time of the year for travel through Dubai.