It was a humble beginning for the world’s busiest international airport…
Now ranked one of the world’s busiest airports, it’s hard to believe Dubai International Airport (DXB) only opened 59 years ago. And in some throwback footage posted by Dubai Media Office, it’s clear to see just how far DXB has come in that time.
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) July 7, 2019
When it opened in 1960, Dubai Airport was made up of a 1,800 foot compacted sand runway, three turning-areas, an apron and tiny terminal building. In 1963, construction of an asphalt runway began, which was completed two years later.
It wasn’t until 1965 that the first jet plane landed at DXB airport, and by 1969, the airport nine airlines operated through the airport, serving 20 destinations.
Expansion continued through the 1970s at Dubai Airport, with the expansion of the airport restaurant and transit lounge, and construction of a second runway, which was completed in 1984.
Terminal 2 was announced as part of a hugely ambitious expansion project in 1997, and opened to flight traffic in 1998. Construction of Terminal 3 began in 2004 at an estimated cost of Dhs16,712,332,000 ($4.55 billion), and the terminal opened four years later in 2008.
The opening of Terminal 3 increased DXB’s annual passenger capacity by an impressive 47 million, bringing the airport capacity to 75 million passengers annually.
DXB Airport welcomed its one billionth passenger, a nine-year-old boy called Arjun on December 20, 2018.
“Dubai International Airport received its one billionth passenger today, marking a new phase in its journey towards a bright future. One billion passengers have made DXB a part of their personal story and helped shape Dubai into a global hub,” the HH Sheikh Moahmmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President of the UAE and ruler of Dubai tweeted at the time.