Support Skift’s Independent Journalism

More travel professionals get their industry news from Skift’s trusted editors and reporters than any other source.

The billionth passenger has flown through Dubai International Airport, which has become one of the world’s busiest.

“We know we have reached a new milestone,” Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted Thursday. “We started a new journey, and we’re heading toward a brighter future.”

A nine-year-old flying in from Orlando, Florida, was selected as the honorary billionth passenger. The boy and his family were greeted by the Dubai International’s chairman.

The airport opened in 1960 and reached 500 million passengers in 2011. 74.5 million travelers used Dubai International in the first 10 months of the year, up 1.5 percent from the previous year.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International is the world’s busiest airport overall, followed by Beijing Capital International. Dubai comes in third, but it says it is the world’s busiest for international travelers. Dubai thinks it will claim the overall crown by the end of the decade.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

This article was written by Lisa Fleisher from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Photo Credit: An Emirates Boeing 777 taxis at Dubai International Airport. The facility just welcomed its billionth passenger. Associated Press