History

A brief chronological history of Dubai International

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1959:

Work to build Dubai International began on a vast expanse of a wasteland some four kilometres from what was then the edge of the city of Dubai.
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1960:

The airport was opened and was capable of handling aircraft up to the size of a DC-3.
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1963:

Work to build an asphalt runway began. It was opened in 1965 together with numerous other newly-built or refurbished facilities.
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1969:

Dubai International accommodated nine airlines serving a total of 20 destinations.
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1970:

The 1970s witnessed many developments across Dubai International, starting with a new three-storey terminal building, a new control tower, additional taxiways, lengthening of the runway, extension of aprons, airfield lighting and landing instrument.
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1980:

On December 23, 1980, Dubai International became an ordinary member of the Airports Council International (ACI) as well as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
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1984:

The second runway, equipped with the latest meteorological, airfield lighting and instrument landing systems to give the airport a Category II classification, was opened in April 1984.
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1988:

Passenger throughput at the airport increased to 4.3 million and more than doubled in a decade to 9.7 million by 1998.
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1998:

Terminal 2 was opened, increasing Dubai International’s capacity by two million passengers per annum.
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2000:

The opening of Sheikh Rashid Terminal, also known as Terminal 1, marked the start of a new chapter in Dubai’s aviation history. Built as part of the first phase of the general expansion project at a cost of AED2 billion, the terminal increased the airport’s capacity from 10 million to 23 million.
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2002:

Dubai International was ranked the second fastest growing airport in the world according to ACI traffic statistics. The facility handled around 18 million passengers in 2003 and was established as the aviation hub of the Middle East.
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2007:

Department of Civil Aviation is restructured, leading to the formation of Dubai Airports – responsible for the development and management of Dubai’s airports and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority – the local aviation regulatory body.
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2008:

Dubai Airports opened the much-awaited Dubai International Terminal 3 for the exclusive use of Emirates airline. The flawless opening of the world’s largest single terminal not only expanded Dubai International’s capacity to 60 million but  won the airport accolades from passengers and the aviation industry worldwide.
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2009:

Passenger throughput surpasses the 40 million mark with traffic reaching 40.9 million in 2009, and Dubai International becomes the world’s fastest growing airport among top 50 major hubs. Work begins on Concourse A, the world’s first-purpose built A380 facility for Emirates’ superjumbo fleet. The facility is expected to be ready by the end of 2012. Terminal 2 undergoes major refurbishment for the launch of flydubai, Dubai’s own low-cost airline.
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2010:

Dubai Airports opens the first phase of Dubai World Central for cargo operations on June 27.
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2012:

Dubai International ends the year as the second busiest airport for international passengers with 57.6 million passengers. Work begins on Concourse D, the new home to the more than 100 airlines that serve Dubai.
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2013:

Concourse A opens, boosting capacity at Dubai International to 75 million.

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