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In pictures: the UAE aviation sector’s journey through the years

November 30, 2013

Abu Dhabi airport, which was thought to be built in early 1952/53. The location is now the site of Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi. There was a traditional 'Barjeel' or windtower to keep the building cool and the flag of Abu Dhabi is seen flying on the right of the building. An air traffic contol official kept in touch with flights via radio and was the only employee. Gulf Air were the regular carrier at that time. Archive Abu Dhabi Photos Courtesy Al Ittihad
Abu Dhabi airport, which was thought to be built in early 1952/53. The location is now the site of Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi. There was a traditional 'Barjeel' or windtower to keep the building cool and the flag of Abu Dhabi is seen flying on the right of the building. An air traffic contol official kept in touch with flights via radio and was the only employee. Gulf Air were the regular carrier at that time. Archive Abu Dhabi Photos Courtesy Al Ittihad
Al Bateen Airport, the second airport in Abu Dhabi was used by the public during the 1970s and partly the 1980s. Archive Abu Dhabi Photos Black and White, Courtesy Al Ittihad
Al Bateen Airport, the second airport in Abu Dhabi was used by the public during the 1970s and partly the 1980s. Archive Abu Dhabi Photos Black and White, Courtesy Al Ittihad
Emirates airplanes taxi at the Dubai International Airport in Dubai. Charles Crowell / Bloomberg
Emirates airplanes taxi at the Dubai International Airport in Dubai. Charles Crowell / Bloomberg
Al Bateen Airport in the 1970s. Archive Abu Dhabi Photos Black and White, Courtesy Al Ittihad
Al Bateen Airport in the 1970s. Archive Abu Dhabi Photos Black and White, Courtesy Al Ittihad
A passenger walks on her way into Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International Airport, in Jebel Ali, Dubai. The airport is planned to be the world's largest passenger and cargo hub. ALI HAIDER / EPA
A passenger walks on her way into Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International Airport, in Jebel Ali, Dubai. The airport is planned to be the world's largest passenger and cargo hub.  ALI HAIDER / EPA
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of flydubai (L) and Ghaith Al Ghaith CEO, announce the launch of the new budget airline at a press conference in Dubai in 2009. Jeff Topping / The National
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of flydubai (L) and Ghaith Al Ghaith CEO, announce the launch of the new budget airline at a press conference in Dubai in 2009. Jeff Topping / The National
Nasser Juma, the head of Aviation Safety for Abu Dhabi Airports Company, guides an Etihad A320 off the new runway to its stand after it was the first plane to land on it. Andrew Parsons / The National
Nasser Juma, the head of Aviation Safety for Abu Dhabi Airports Company, guides an Etihad A320 off the new runway to its stand after it was the first plane to land on it. Andrew Parsons  /  The National

In the past 42 years, the UAE’s aviation sector has soared to new heights and now features the world’s second-busiest airport for international passengers.