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Dubai, from village to global aviation hub in 60 years

Sixty years ago this year, Dubai Airport was nothing more than a runway.

This is a bird’s eye view of the first runway of Dubai Airport, 1959.
First runway of Dubai Airport, circa 1959. The 1,800-metre runway was built upon orders of Dubai’s former ruler, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. An asphalt runway was added in 1963.

Dubai Airport had a modest beginning. This picture shows the original control tower.

In 1959, Dubai airport was made of compacted sand, with a single runway on a salt flat.

Dubai International airport in 1971. From 4-5 flights a week and just 40,000 passengers a year, the airport today handles 34,000 flights a month and 88.8 million passengers a year.

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