Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

A model airport: When Dubai International's Terminal 3 was in miniature

Back in 2005, the new airport was just a twinkle in the aviation industry's eye

Emiratis look at a model of the new Dubai airport, which is expected to be ready in August 2007, cost 4.1 million USD dollars, and receive 70 billion passengers a year, at the Dubai Air Show 21 November 2005. Authorities in the booming city boast that the ninth edition of the Dubai show, which was last held in 2003, will be 25 percent bigger this year, with nearly 10,000 square meters (108,000 square feet) more exhibition space. AFP PHOTO/RABIH MOGHRABI (Photo by RABIH MOGHRABI / AFP)
Emiratis look at a model of the new Dubai airport, which is expected to be ready in August 2007, cost 4.1 million USD dollars, and receive 70 billion passengers a year, at the Dubai Air Show 21 November 2005. Authorities in the booming city boast that the ninth edition of the Dubai show, which was last held in 2003, will be 25 percent bigger this year, with nearly 10,000 square meters (108,000 square feet) more exhibition space. AFP PHOTO/RABIH MOGHRABI (Photo by RABIH MOGHRABI / AFP)

This week thousands of residents have been returning to the UAE from summer breaks, as children head back to school, and Emirates has been experiencing its busiest period ever, with Dubai International Airport teeming with passengers.

In fact, the airline expected more than 500,000 travellers were set to jet into DXB in the final weeks of August.

However, just 14 years ago a new iteration of the airport, with the yet-to-open Terminal 3, was simply a gleam in the aviation industry's eye.

This model had been revealed at the Dubai Airshow 21 in 2005 and was expected to be ready by August 2007. It actually opened in 2008 and allowed the airport to significantly increase its passenger capacity by an impressive 47 million, bringing its total capacity to 75 million travellers per year.

The first airport for the emirate was actually opened in 1960 with its first airfield and it has since seen many major expansions. Late last year, on December 20, the airport also received its one billionth passenger, a nine-year-old boy called Arjun.

Updated: August 30, 2019 10:49 AM

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