Dubai airport celebrates its 1 billionth passenger Image Credit: DMO

Dubai: It’s official - Dubai International Airport has crossed the billionth passenger mark.

According to tweet by High Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the airport marked the milestone on Thursday setting off a grand celebration with smiling staff.

“Dubai International Airport received today a billionth passenger. When Dubai is an airport for one billion people, we know that we have reached a new station, Shaikh Mohammad tweeted. “We started a different journey .. we took a beautiful future ... We are the airport of the world, it’s destination and its heart.”

In a follow-up tweet, Shaikh Mohammad thanked Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, and airport staff who helped build one of the world’s busiest airports since it opened on September 30, 1960.

In a press release from Dubai Airports, officials said the airport’s billionth passenger Arjun, 9, and his family received a warm welcome from Shaikh Ahmed when they arrived on Thursday morning from Orlando, Florida on Emirates flight EK220.

In a statement, Shaikh Ahmed said: “This landmark billionth passenger achievement is the result of team work and collaboration, and special thanks goes out to each and every member of the airport community who have played a role in this journey.”

“Of course, we would not be in this position if it weren’t for the visionary leadership of Shaikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, both of whom foresaw the development of Dubai into a global centre for trade, tourism and commerce enabled by a fast-growing and world-leading aviation sector with top-flight airport infrastructure.”

An Airport official said in a statement that the one billion mark “is arguably the most significant in a long litany of achievements since the airport first opened in September 30, 1960 with a tiny terminal building and a runway of compacted sand. Today the hub is widely considered a benchmark for its quality infrastructure, passenger and cargo volumes and high service levels despite unrelenting growth. DXB handles an average of 7.5 million customers every month and this year broke its own traffic record thrice with more than 8.3 million customers in a month.”

The official said that “nothing puts DXB’s growth in perspective more than the fact that the airport took 51 years – from September 30, 1960 to December 31, 2011 – to reach its 500 millionth passenger but clocked the remaining 500 million in just seven years. Over the past 11 years alone Dubai Airports has opened seven major facilities with an investment of almost $12 billion. Five of those have been at DXB including Terminal 3, Concourses A, B, D and the complete refurbishment and expansion of Terminal 2.”

Dubai airport celebrates it's 1 billionth passenger Image Credit: DMO