The rise of Dubai International Airport has been rather remarkable. Initially opened in the 1960s, it remained something of a relative backwater until the turn of the century.
Yet in the 16 years since the launching of the second terminal in 1998, the airport’s growth – like the United Arab Emirates’ in general – has been astronomical. Back in 2000, it had little over 12 million passengers a year, but by 2013 that number had reached 66 million, with plans to hit 90 million in the coming years. For the first time, this year Dubai’s airport has so far overtaken London Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport by passenger numbers.
Other Gulf airports have also continued to grow but, as a newly released video shows, Dubai is a long way ahead. The video, made by the UK Air Traffic Management Service Provider Nats, tracks the approximately three thousand flights that take off and arrive in the Arabian Gulf every day. The video, based on one day’s flights between 28 and 29 November 2013, shows Dubai as the leading source of traffic with others, including Abu Dhabi and Doha, also busy.