Dubai is in the process of “building the aviation capital of the world,” according to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. His comments, via Twitter, have come as Dubai carrier Emirates this week celebrated 30 years since its inaugural flight. “Our vision for Dubai is clear: we are not building the largest airports in the world. We are building the aviation capital of the world,” he tweeted to his 4.91 million followers.
He added that he remembers well the first steps and challenges of building the airline, which took flight for the first time on October 25, 1985 to Karachi. Emirates began with a US$10m donation from Sheikh Mohammed, and was up and running in five months as it leased an Airbus A300 and Boeing 777 from Pakistan International Airways. Since then Emirates has grown to the extent that it flies to 147 destinations on five continents, with 240 planes and 267 more on order. Looking forwards, Sheikh Mohammed added that innovation the key for Emirates’ future. “Our vision for Emirates for the next 30 years is rooted in innovation: to reinvent aviation with new products, technologies and services,” he tweeted.
“Competing in aviation requires not only physical infrastructure but also intellectual infrastructure to entirely redefine global travel.” Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380 superjumbo. It operates, on average, about 3,500 flights per week and has added frequencies to a number of destinations this year. Its brand was recently named the most valuable in the Middle East at $6.6 billion by Brand Finance. “From day one, Sheikh Mohammed’s expectations for Dubai’s aviation industry have been clear, driving us – the airline, the airport and the entire ecosystem – to be world-class and No 1 globally,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Emirates airline and group chairman and chief executive, earlier this week.