9-year old Arjun is Dubai airport’s ‘billionth’ visitor

By Sheena Amos

DUBAI 21 December 2018: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, praised Dubai airport team’s efforts and dedication as the airport welcomed its one billionth passenger.

“Dubai International Airport received its one billionth passenger [yesterday], marking a new phase in its journey towards a bright future. One billion passengers have made DXB a part of their personal story and helped shape Dubai into a global hub,” His Highness tweeted. “I am proud and humbled by this achievement and thank the DXB team, led by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. We are committed to remaining the first choice in transporting people across borders, helping them fulfill dreams, meet loved ones, and discover the world’s wonders.”

Dubai Airports (DXB) and representatives from across the aviation sector and the emirate of Dubai gave a warm welcome to the airport’s billionth passenger, nine-year-old Arjun and his family, who arrived this morning from Orlando, Florida on Emirates flight EK220.

At a celebration held in DXB earlier yesterday, Arjun along with his mother Ramya, father Venkatesh and 13-year-old brother Varun, were personally greeted by Sheikh Ahmed, Chairman of Dubai Airports.

The billionth customer is arguably the most significant in a long list of achievements since the airport first opened in 30th September, 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.

51 years to reach 500 millionth

Nothing puts DXB’s growth in perspective more than the fact that the airport took 51 years, until December 31, 2011, to reach its 500 millionth passenger but clocked the remaining 500 million in just seven years. Over the past 11 years, Dubai Airports has opened seven major facilities with an investment of almost US$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.

To pick the lucky passenger, Dubai Airports used its passenger traffic forecast to narrow down the selection to a specific flight and approached Emirates to make a random selection.

Superstar Treatment

During their stay, Arjun and his family will be visiting some of the top Dubai experiences and treated like superstars all the way. The family will stay at the iconic Atlantis Hotel and dine at the award-winning restaurants there and even spend a day exploring the Aquaventure water park. There will be a visit to the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa – for an access-all-areas tour, followed by a personal shopping experience at the Dubai Mall. Then, they will spend a full day with Arabian Adventures exploring the more traditional side of Dubai, around the Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood, and later in the day, they will make their way into the desert for a dune drive and a sunset dinner.

Dubai Airports will be posting highlights of the family’s visit across its social media channels in the near future.

Dubai Gazette