The amazing growth of the Emirate of Dubai

By Shuchita Kapur
The growth of Dubai into a world-class city in a short span of time proves that miracles do happen in today’s world.

Building its growth on trade and tourism, Dubai has created a niche for itself and made its mark as one of the fastest growing cities in the world.

With numerous prestigious structures, a strong trade, aviation tourism and services sector, Dubai is poised to grow even further.


The strong growth of Dubai’s aviation sector was clearly apparent at the Dubai Airshow that was held in November of 2011. The growth of the sector was proven by the sheer numbers. The event was an overwhelming success drawing 56,548 trade visitors from around the world along with 960 exhibitors from 50 countries and 1,452 international and regional media.

Yet again the event proved to be one where deals are made and the total order book for the Dubai Airshow was in excess of $63 billion.

The great influx of people show that Dubai still retains its position as one of the places people love to go to. Dubai International Airport celebrated its 50th Anniversary in October 2010 and is now the 4th busiest airport in the world.

In May 2011, it announced that it will be the busiest airport in the world by 2015. Passenger traffic has increased at an average annual rate of 15.5 per cebt.  The number of passengers travelling through Dubai’s two main airports is expected to increase to 98.5 million by 2020. The figure is more than double the 47.2 million passengers Dubai Airports recorded in 2010. Dubai Airports owns and operates both of Dubai’s airports – Dubai International and the currently cargo-traffic only Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International.

Concourse 3, Dubai International’s dedicated A380 facility, is set to open in 2012, when Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International will also start passenger services.

Emirates airline, one of Dubai’s stars, started in March 1985, just 26 years ago. Today, it is the largest airline in the Middle East and the seventh-largest in the world in terms of international passengers carried, and the largest in the world in terms of scheduled international passenger-kilometers flown. It is also the seventh-largest in terms of scheduled freight tonne-kilometres flown (sixth in scheduled international freight tonne-kilometres flown).

Flydubai was founded on March 19, 2008. The flydubai fleet consists of 21 aircraft with an average age of 1 year, all of which are either on sale or lease-back agreements. They are all equipped with 189 passenger seats in a high-density all-economy class cabin layout. The airline already flies to 46 destinations with more routes being added every month.

As we talk of these amazing figures, Al Maktoum International Airport is not too far away from being open to passengers. This new airport is expected to have an annual cargo capacity of 12 million tons, more than three times that of Memphis International Airport, today’s largest cargo hub, and a passenger capacity between 120 million and 150 million per year – more than Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (90 million in 2008), currently the world’s busiest passenger airport.

Designed for the future, Al Maktoum International Airport proposes to handle all next-generation aircraft, including the Airbus A380 super-jumbo. Up to four aircraft will be able to land simultaneously, 24 hours a day, minimising in-air queuing. More info