Dubai International airport has two runways, three terminals and in 2016 handled 83.6 million passengers. It employs about 90,000 people and the Department of Civil Aviation expects it to contribute 35 per cent of the emirate’s GDP by 2020, up from today’s 27 per cent (or $26.7bn).

Dubai’s Emirates airline has a dedicated terminal and is responsible for about 65 per cent of the airport’s passenger traffic. Low-cost carrier

Flydubai contributes almost 12 per cent of passenger traffic.

The airport opened in 1960 with a runway made from compacted sand and has been modernised and expanded over the decades since then. In the 1990s, the airport underwent a $540m expansion that included the opening of Terminal 2 in 1998. In 2001, a $4.2bn expansion began; this included the construction of Emirates’ dedicated Terminal 3, new concourses, the upgrade of airfield facilities and the expansion of the Cargo Village. The opening of Terminal 3 in 2008 more than doubled the airport’s passenger-handling capacity.

Dubai International airport handled 2.6 million tonnes of cargo in 2016, a 3.4 per cent increase on 2015. Dubai has a second airport – Al-Maktoum International, which opened in 2010.