One of the fastest growing airports in the world; Dubai International turns 50 that transformed from humble airstrip to leading global aviation hub in the half-century.

Since its opening, Dubai International has welcomed over 402 million passengers at an average annual growth rate of 15.5 per cent, and handled over 3.87 million aircraft movements at an average annual growth rate of 12.4 per cent.

“The 50th anniversary of Dubai International is an historic milestone that marks five glorious decades of growth and achievement, thanks to the vision of the late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who understood the amazing potential of aviation and took the initiative to build the airport and promote an open skies policy,” said Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and Chairman of Dubai Airports and Emirates Group.

According to the Airline Council International‘s latest figures, Dubai International is the world’s sixth busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic and seventh busiest for cargo traffic, offering connections to over 210 destinations across six continents on more than 130 airlines.

Starting with annual traffic of a few thousand passengers during its first year of operation, Dubai International reached one million passengers in 1974, with the five million passenger mark achieved 16 years later in 1990. Passenger traffic surpassed 10 million in 1999, largely enabled by a series of expansion and refurbishment projects — including the construction of a second terminal (Terminal 2), two asphalted runways, a new air traffic control tower, an extended terminal building and major equipment upgrade — all of which were carried out to accommodate the robust traffic growth.

Operating at full capacity and experiencing unrelenting growth, Dubai International welcomed the turn of the century with a major addition to its infrastructure in the form of Sheikh Rashid Terminal, also known as Concourse 1 in April 2000, more than doubling the airport’s annual capacity from 10 million to 23 million passengers.
Source: Khaleej Times