Dubai International, which opened in 1960 with a runway of compacted sand, recently saw a record 8.3mn passengers in one month.
The billionth passenger at DXB, or Dubai International Airport, was nine-year-old Arjun and his family who arrived from Orlando, Florida, on Emirates flight EK220.
At a celebration held at the Middle Eastern hub, Arjun along with his mother, father and thirteen-year-old brother, were personally greeted by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports, on their first visit to Dubai.
To pick passenger number one billion, the airport said it used its passenger traffic forecast to narrow down the selection to a specific flight and approached Emirates to make a random selection.
500mn in seven years
Back in 1960 when it opened, DXB was just a tiny terminal building with a runway of compacted sand. Today, the hub handles an average of 7.5 million customers per month and this year broke its own traffic record with more than 8.3 million customers in a month.
It took the airport 51 years – from September 1960 to the end of 2011 – to reach its 500 millionth passenger. But it clocked the remaining 500 million in just seven years.
Over the past 11 years, Dubai Airports – a company that also includes Al Maktoum International Airport which opened in 2010 – has unveiled seven major facilities with an investment of almost $12 billion.
Five of these new facilities have been at DXB, including Terminal 3, concourses A, B and D and the complete refurbishment and expansion of Terminal 2.
“This landmark billionth passenger achievement is the result of teamwork and collaboration, and special thanks goes out to each and every member of the airport community who have played a role in this journey,” said the airport chairman.