Dubai International Airport (IATA Airport Code DXB)
Latest flight information tel Dubai International Airport +971-4-2166666 or visit the Flight Information menu on the Dubai Airport website. All Emirates (EK) passengers arrive at and depart from Terminal 3 (T3). Most other airline passengers use Terminal 1 (T1). Terminal 2 (T2) is for a handful of more obscure airlines, and Fly Dubai until they move to Jebel Ali Airport.
Dubai airport shops, restaurants, duty-free, cafes, bars, and airline lounges are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
Dubai Airport general information
Dubai International Airport (or just Dubai Airport, DXB) is in the Garhood / Garhoud area of Dubai. A second international airport is under construction in the Jebel Ali area, called Al Maktoum International Airport. Previously the new airport was to be known as Dubai World Central International Airport, and previous to that was Jebel Ali Airport, Jebel Ali International Airport, Jebel Ali Airport City, or Dubai International Airport City. Both airports are owned and operated by Dubai Airports (a catchy name for a company in the airport business wouldn't you say?).
- Dubai Airport opened on 30 September 1960. By 1969 there were 9 airlines to 20 destinations, by 2004 there were 107 airlines to more than 160 destinations. As of June 2008 there are 120 airlines flying to 205 destinations.
- Terminal 1 connects to the new Sheikh Rashid Terminal (concourse) which opened in April 2000, and is used for most commercial flights to Dubai. Passenger capacity was increased to about 25 million passengers per year, which meant the new terminal was only good for 5 years before busting its gaskets. Prior to the opening of the Sheikh Rashid Terminal, the Terminal 1 building was also the concourse for flight arrivals and departures.
- Terminal 2 is used mostly for business and charter flights. Expansion of capacity from 7m to 12m passengers per year expected to be completed by 2013 (01 May 2012 news).
- Terminal 3 (and concourse 2), originally expected to be completed in 2006 but not open until 14 October 2008, is dedicated to Emirates Airlines passengers. Total capacity of Dubai Airport up to 60 million passengers per year with the opening of T3.
- Concourse 3 - another A380 specific facility, with longer ladders for the upstairs passengers, was expected to open in 2009 but that's been pushed back to 2011 ... to late 2012 (06 July 2011 news) ... to 2013 Q1 (01 May 2012 news). This, together with the new terminal 3 and concourse 2, will increase capacity to 70-80 million passengers per year (various figures seen - April 2009 reports said 80m). Which sounds like a lot, but at current growth rates the doors won't close anymore by about 2012/2013. However, by then the new airport at Jebel Ali should be taking up some of the strain.
- Concourse 4 expected to be in operation sometime in 2015 (01 May 2012 news).
- An e-gate card is available for residents and visitors, a very handy short cut to the ever lengthening queues at passport control.
- Average annual growth in passenger numbers for Dubai Airport is about 9-10% since 1980, which increased to about 15% annual growth from 2002-2007, and was back to 10% or less after that.
- Dubai International Airport was voted Best in the Middle East and Africa for 2005 by Business Traveller Magazine Germany.
Dubai Airport biometric passport scanning
- From 25 April 2012, a new smart e-Gate passport scanning system is available at Terminal 3 arrivals. The system scans biometric passports and includes facial recognition and a retinal scan. Initially the system is on a 2 month trial run (reported 26 April 2012).
- Adults and children over 7 years old with biometric passports can use the new system.
- More scanning systems are expected to be installed at other immigration entry points eventually.
Dubai Airport contact information
- DXB postal address: Department of Civil Aviation, Dubai International Airport, PO Box 2525, Dubai, UAE
- Telephone +971-4-2162525 or +971-4-2166333.
- Flight information tel +971-4-2166666.
Dubai Airport passenger numbers
- Figures in italics represent estimates and/or forecasts.
- 29 Jan 2013 (press release) - Dubai Airports announced 2012 total passenger traffic of 58 million, 13.2% increase from 2011, and higher than estimate at beginning of 2012 of 56.5 million. Total aircraft movements of 344,245 in 2012, up 5.5% from 326,318 movements in 2011.
- 26 Jan 2011 - Dubai Airports announced 2010 figures in a press release. Total of 47.2 million passengers (higher than estimate of 46.1m), and a growth rate of 15.4% for 2010. Estimated traffic for 2011 is 52.2 million, up 11% from 2010. Cargo traffic up 17.7% to 2.3m tonnes in 2010, estimated to increase 48% by 2015.
- A curious press release on 17 June 2010 from the GCAA (?) forecast that The six airports in the UAE together will handle 41.7 million passengers by 2020 marking a significant growth from the current level of about 26 million passengers, a number which doesn't make sense given that Dubai Airport alone already handles more than that, and by 2020 could be handling well over 100 million passengers per year if growth rates continue at around 10% per annum (9.4% for 2009).
- 2009 figures and 2010 forecasts released 13 January 2010 by Dubai Airports.
Dubai Airport expansion
- 06 July 2011 - Dubai Airport announced approval of an expansion plan worth AED 29 billion (US$7.8 billion) up to 2020.
- A 4th concourse to be constructed by 2015, connected to Terminal 1 on the Dubai Cargo Village side.
- Passenger capacity to increase from 60 million in 2011 to 90 million by 2018 (and almost 100 million by 2020).
- Air freight capacity to increase to 4 million tonnes per annum.
- Aviation sector forecast to account for 22% of employment and 32% of GDP for Dubai by 2020.
Getting to and from Dubai International Airport
- Dubai Airport location is in the Al Garhoud area on Deira side of the creek. Coming from Sharjah, try either Al Ittihad Road (or car park as it usually is), otherwise known as the Dubai Sharjah Road. Or try the Airport Tunnel. Either way, there are signs to follow.
- Driving from Bur Dubai (Abu Dhabi) side of the Dubai Creek, go towards the Garhood Bridge and follow airport signs, but this takes you through a Salik toll gate. To avoid Salik, use the Business Bay Bridge. The airport signs then direct you to a longer route that gets you stuck in the Airport Tunnel traffic jam. A shortcut is: as you go over the Business Bay bridge, take the second exit to Dubai Festival City (no airport sign), follow road around to the right to traffic signal - turn right, and right again at next intersection, then straight ahead at the next traffic signal / traffic lights. Continue straight ahead through several more signals until you get to the Airport Road where you turn left, then follow signs to Terminal 3 or Terminal 1. If you have to go to Terminal 2 (unlikely), then you'll need to drive around to the other side of the airport. There should be airport signs to follow after you make the initial exit from Business Bay Bridge.
- Public transport to the airport includes taxis, Dubai Municipality buses, and airport buses visiting many hotels. Four and five star hotels usually arrange pick up and delivery of guests. Three star and lower probably not.
- Dubai Metro - from September 2009 Red Line operations started with the station open at Terminal 3 (T3), and from April 2010, another station at T1. Good access to hotels in Al Riga area of Deira, and a couple along Sheikh Zayed Road. Only 10 Dubai red line stations open initially, all 29 expected to be open by end of 2010. Dubai Metro has limited operating hours though - late night arrivals and departures will be caught out, and those travelling on Fridays before 2pm. There are also baggage restrictions making the Dubai Metro impractical for most passengers, and acting as a useful introduction for visitors and new residents to the sometimes illogical and nonsensical nature of Dubai.
Accommodation near Dubai Airport
- Dubai Airport Hotel - in Terminal 1.
- Dubai Airport SnoozeCubes - see below.
- The nearest hotels are Al Bustan Rotana Hotel and Airport Meridian Hotel, which are both within walking distance across the main Airport Road - there are covered airconditioned walkways over the road. But if you have luggage and/or you're walking in the middle of the day during summer, take a taxi. It might not look far but you'll be cursing the heat by the time you get there.
- The Airport Millenium Hotel is a bit further away on the road leading to the Garhood Bridge and Dubai Tennis Stadium. A long walk (not recommended, especially in summer) or short taxi ride.
- Premier Inn is a Dubai budget hotel near the airport, open September 2009 with rooms for AED 450 at the time.
- The Dubai Youth Hostel is not within walking distance but is not too far away by bus or taxi.
- The Dubai transit hotel is in the terminal building for the use of transit passengers on an hourly or daily basis.
Dubai Airport SnoozeCube
- Snooze Cube sleeping pods located in Terminal 1 near Gate 122.
- Each unit has a full-size bed, internet access, touch-screen television, airport flight information.
- Cost approximately AED 65 ($18.00) per hour for the first 4 hours (in 2011).
- Open from October 2011?
Getting through Dubai International Airport - arrivals
- On arrival from overseas, planes end up either at the nicely airconditioned walkways into the airport, or a long way from the terminal building in the cheap parking slots, from where you have to catch a bus.
- If you end up on a bus, usually the first stop is for transit passengers, and the second stop is for passengers staying in Dubai - customs and passport control is in a separate building from the main Terminal 1 building.
- When arriving at passport control, if you have to collect an entry visa, there is a counter where it should be waiting for you just before you walk up the stairs to join the passport control queues. Nationalities allowed visas on arrival are most European, North American, Australasian, and some Asian. At bad times, you could be waiting an hour in the passport queue. If you're a resident, it serves you right for not getting an e-gate card.
- After passport control, go and find your bags and walk through customs. It doesn't seem to matter much whether you choose the red or green line, customs officers will pick the occasional random person to check. Most of the time you'll sail through. Check the duty free allowances for information on what not to bring.
- Facilities for arriving passengers include a resonable selection of alcohol at Dubai Duty Free after passport control but before customs, and a few other electronic goods, cigars, cigarettes, perfumes etc.
- On a good day (using e-gate, no checked baggage) plane to taxi takes about 15-30 minutes. Normal plane to terminal exit is 30 mins to 1 hour, although in 2008 that stretched to 1-2 hours as the airport got choked up.
- Evenings and early mornings are busiest times - many flights from Asia/Europe transit through Dubai in the middle of the night. There are no noise control restrictions in place so Dubai airport operates 24 hours per day.
Dubai International Airport departures
- Allow 3 hours for check in and passport control (you'll get away with 2 hours but that leaves little room for error if you get stuck in traffic, or the check-in and passport queues are unexpectedly long).
- The departure drop-off area always seems busy for Terminal 1. If you want to have a long goodbye with someone, either do it before you get to the airport, or park the car in a proper carpark.
- Evenings from about 7pm to midnight are about the worst time for crowds at the departure terminal, and especially if coming from the Garhood Bridge the traffic queues just to enter the airport will delay you 15-30 minutes, or longer.
- The end of June / early July is a nightmare time for exiting the country as all the schools finish around then and everyone wants to clear off.
- Don't forgot the new rules about bringing liquids. Clear plastic bags with no container over 100 ml, and total less than 1 liter. Or put stuff in your checked luggage.
- If you're travelling with hand luggage only, from mid-June 2008 there's a new check in facility upstairs at Terminal 1 for some flights, which avoids some of the queues.
- Facilities for departing passengers include good shopping at Dubai Duty Free (although many items are similar prices or cheaper in Dubai's shopping malls - especially if there's a sale on), the Irish Village bar and restaurant, several other cafes and restaurants (including a McDonalds), and a Transit Hotel at Dubai Airport. Also available are banks, a post office, health club (with pool), medical center, prayer rooms, business centers, first and business class lounges, etc. Most facilities are open 24 hours.
- Gates close 15-20 minutes before flight departure and airport staff toss out the bags of any passengers who are late. At least, that's what they say they'll do. It's probably not a good idea to test their patience so skip that extra burger or drink and trot along now, and if you're an Emirates Airlines passenger who checked in at the new Terminal 3 and you've just discovered your boarding pass has a gate number starting with a "1", you better get moving. You've got a long jog ahead of you ...
Dubai Airport Facilities
- Concourses 1, 2, 3 (completion in 2013?), 4 (completion in 2015?)
- Cargo Terminals 1 and 2
- Dubai Airport Expo - home of the Dubai Airshow up to 2009 (moves to the new Jebel Ali airport for 2011)
- Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ) - one of several Dubai free trade zone areas
- Dubai Airport Aircraft Maintenance workshop - a little bigger than your local car mechanic's garage.
- Dubai Flower Center - for flowers and other perishable goods
- Terminals 1, 2, 3 (open October 2008)
Dubai Airport concourse and terminal differences
An airport terminal is usually where passengers check in for departure, or collect luggage and go through customs when arriving. A concourse is usually where the planes arrive and depart from. Sometimes the terminal and concourse buildings are separate, sometimes they're the same. Duty free shops and other facilities might be located in terminals or concourses or both. For Dubai Airport, it can be a little confusing. As of October 2008 when the new Terminal 3 and Concourse 2 opened, there are 3 terminal buildings and 2 concourse buildings, with a third concourse under construction.
- Terminal 1 is where passengers for most non-Emirates Airlines (EK) flights check in for departure, or clear customs and collect their bags on arrival. T1 flights depart from Concourse 1 - called the Sheikh Rashid Terminal (not concourse, just to be even more confusing).
- Terminal 2 is used for a few airlines. The T2 building is also the concourse for flights for passengers using T2, and is located on the Sharjah side of the airfield from T1 and T3 (there's no separate concourse building for T2).
- Terminal 3 is used for Emirates passengers and most flights use Concourse 2 but some flights use Concourse 1 (The Sheikh Rashid Terminal) resulting in a surprisingly long walk to and from T3 for those unlucky passengers.
Gate numbering on boarding passes can be confusing. Numbers starting with a 1 are for Concourse 1 (not Terminal 1). Numbers starting with a 2 are for Concourse 2 (not Terminal 2). Numbers starting with a 3 are for Concourse 3 (not open, and not Terminal 3 - if you get one of these, boarding will commence in 2011 ... 2012 ... 2013 so you should find somewhere comfortable to sit for the next year or two).
Dubai Airport Concourse 4
- 01 May 2012 - concourse 4 expected to be developed by 2015 (Emirates 24-7 report).
Dubai Airport Concourse 3 (or Terminal 4?)
Concourse 3 is dedicated to A380 aircraft (Emirates only ... or maybe other carriers also?). Under construction from 2008 (?), expected completion or opening date in 2011 ... maybe end of 2010 ... 2011 ... 2012 ... Q1 2013
- 30 Jun 2012 (WAM report) - official opening in January 2013, project value AED 12 billion, annual passenger capacity 19 million. Internal metro connecting old and new terminal is 1.5 km long with capacity of 6,000 passengers per hour. New terminal is 645 m long, 90 m wide, 528 sq meter area (might be a typo in the report - there are many villas in Dubai bigger than that, 52,800 sq m seems to be more realistic). Aircraft capacity of 20 A380s? Terminal has a 4 and a 5 star hotel with 200 room capacity.
- 01 May 2012 - completion expected by end of 2012, opening date in Q1 2013, according to comments by Dubai Airports CEO, Paul Griffiths, reported in Emirates 24-7.
- 24 February 2010 (Emirates Business 24/7): Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said "When Concourse 3 is completed by the end of 2010, it will take the airport's annual capacity to 75 million passengers. Between the two airports [Dubai Airport and Jebel Ali Airport], we will have an initial combined capacity of 82 million passengers."
- April 2009 - Dubai Airport Concourse 3 was in the news when the joint venture (JV) contractors Al Habtoor Leighton Group and partners Murray & Roberts & Takenaka downed tools and walked off the job due to contractual difficulties. Al Jaber Engineering and Contracting (ALEC) became the new contractors for the construction of the concourse.
Dubai Airport Terminal 3
The departure hall and arrival hall of Terminal 3 (T3) are spacious and pleasant with large columns making it look like something the ancient Greeks or Romans might have designed. For departures though, after clearing passport control and security checks, one is thrust into the melee of the poorly designed claustrophobic duty-free shopping area, a sharp contrast from the much less hectic shopping area in Terminal 1 (which is connected to T3 if you want to escape the crowds).
The new terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport (DIA) opened with a first flight to Doha on 14 October 2008 at 14:15. There was a four phase operation to shift all Emirates (EK) flights from terminal 1 (T1) to T3. When you walk around T3 and think that it seems like a large building, that's because it is. The largest by footprint area in the world, coming in at about 1.5 million sq meters / 1.5 square km (or 16 million square feet). Phased transfer schedule for EK flights from T1 to T3:
- Phase I for flights to GCC and American destinations
- Phase II for flights to Africa and other Middle East destinations
- Phase III for flights to Europe
- Phase IV for flights to Asia, Australia, and New Zealand
Terminal 2 Dubai Airport
Terminal 2 is located on the Sharjah side of the Dubai Airport area. If you mess up and go to Terminals 1 or 3 by mistake, catch a taxi to Terminal 2. It's too far to walk (especially in summer heat) but allow 1-2 hours if you really want to, and there's no shuttle service. Using the Dubai Metro is complicated since you have to change lines, and still walk a long way anyway.
- 01 May 2012 (Emirates 24-7) - Terminal 2 expansion expected to be complete by 2013, with capacity increase from 7 million to 12 million passengers per year.
Terminal 1 Dubai Airport
Dubai International Airport awards
- 2013 - 33rd place in the Skytrax World Airport Awards list of top 100 airports worldwide (AUH was 20th).
- 2012 - 26th place in the Skytrax World Airport Awards list of top 100 airports worldwide (AUH was 18th).
- 2012 Air Cargo Hub of the Year award at the Supply Chain and Transport Awards (SCATA) held in Dubai on 01 May 2012 (WAM 02 May 2012).
- 2011 Air Cargo Hub of the Year award at the Supply Chain and Transport Awards (SCATA). SCATA was established in 2007, is organised by ITP Business, a Dubai based publisher, and covers the Middle East logistics industry.
List of Dubai Airport plane crashes, accidents, and air traffic incidents - history and timeline
- 17 May 2012 - a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Lahore to Dubai was delayed due to a bomb threat phoned in by an anonymous caller. After a search found nothing, the plane took off without incident, with departure time delayed from 1100 to 1500 (local time at Lahore) (AFP report 17 May 2012).
- 12 March 2007 - a Biman Bangladesh Airbus A310 with 236 passengers and crew aborted takeoff and stopped at the end of the runway. Passengers were evacuated with Reuters reporting 13 passengers slightly injured. Dubai Airport was closed for part of the day, and the Biman plane suffered nosegear damage.
- 17 October 2001 - a Pakistan International Airways Airbus A300 with 193 passengers and 12 crew skidded off the side of the runway into the sandpit while landing, as a result of landing gear failure. There were no fatalities.
- 21 September 2001 - an Aeroflot Ilyushin 86 with 307 passengers and 15 crew belly flopped onto the runway as a result of the aircrew not lowering the landing gear. Two engines and the cargo hold caught fire. There were no fatalities. Unknown if the pilot remembered to say Spasibo for flying with Aeroflot.
- 09 March 1985 - a bomb exploded in a baggage compartment of a Royal Jordanian Airlines Lockheed Tristar after it landed. The plane had come from Karachi in Pakistan.
- 25 November 1973 - a KLM Boeing 747 with 247 passengers and 17 crew was hijacked between Tokyo and Athens. The hijackers took the plane on a sightseeing tour of Middle East airports (Damascus > Cyprus > Libya > Malta > Baghdad > Kuwait > Qatar) that refused to negotiate with them or allow them to land in some cases, eventually stopping in Dubai, then attempting a trip to Yemen but returning to Dubai when Aden airport did not give them landing permission. The hijackers surrendered and the passengers walked around in circles for a while until the dizziness subsided. There were no fatalities.
Aircraft incidents on the way to or from Dubai Airport involving a loss of life
UPS Dubai plane crash 03 September 2010
- 03 September 2010 - a Boeing 747-400 UPS cargo flight to Cologne, Germany, caught fire and crashed shortly after takeoff from Dubai International Airport, killing 2 crew members. No other injuries were reported. Initial reports on Al Arabiya television said the plane had crashed on the Emirates Rd and a number of cars were on fire but later reports clarified that the plane had crashed away from the highway.
- Some eyewitnesses reported the plane flying low over Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) before crashing. Incoming and outgoing flights at Dubai Airport were not disrupted.
- Later reports clarified that the aircraft had taken off and was already out of UAE airspace when it was instructed to return to Dubai Airport after pilots reported smoke in the cockpit. The plane crashed about one hour after take-off. Saif Al Suweidi, DG of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) was quoted in Emirates Business 24-7 as saying "He reported fire and smoke in the cockpit. He was asked to return but he missed the approach and then he disappeared from the radar."
- Reuters reported that the crash location was a military compound near the Emirates Rd highway, and departure time was 1840. The report also quoted Saif al-Suwaidi, general manager of civil aviation in Dubai, as saying "The pilot reported fire and smoke in the cockpit and was instructed to return to Dubai. After failing to land at the airport, the plane disappeared from radar screens and was found later (at the crash site)."
- Emirates Business 24-7 said Dubai Police rescue unit that rushed to the sport had earlier confirmed that the aircraft crashed in an uninhabited desert area between Emirates Road and Al Ain Road after 8pm.
- WAM reported that the plane crashed in an unpopulated area between the Emirates Road and Al Ain highway and caught fire.
- 04 September 2010 - Gulf News reported A statement by the General Civil Aviation Authority said two crew members had been killed and the plane crashed in an uninhabited area between Emirates Road and Al Ain Road, near the Nad Al Sheba army camp.
- Later reports said the plane had in fact crashed inside the military compound, damaging some ground facilities.
- One of the two Black Box flight recorders was found on 03 September 2010.
- 14 September 2010 - Both Blackbox flight data and voice recorders were sent to the USA for analysis according to a WAM report.
- 14 September 2010 - the UAE GCAA issued a statement that said "The initial analysis of the downloaded data indicated that there was a fire warning followed by smoke in the cockpit, as reported by the crew about 28 minutes (after) takeoff. The crew were offered by Bahrain Air Traffic Control to land at Doha, but they decided to return to Dubai, then they experienced cockpit visibility and communications problems."
- The crash investigation is being carried out by
Boeing, the UAE GCAA, UPS, US National Transportation Safety Board, US Federal Aviation Administration.
- 15 September 2010 - a US company called VisionSafe Corporation exploited the Dubai plane crash as a marketing opportunity to promote their
Emergency Vision Assurance System (EVAS) in an avaricious press release, saying
The Boeing 747-400 plane that crashed near Dubai airport on September 3rd may have landed safely if the aircraft had been equipped with emergency vision technology. It seems unlikely that the families of the dead pilots will appreciate the "I told you so ..." sentiment expressed by VisionSafe.
- 11 October 2010 - a press release from the GCAA said GCAA reveals more details regarding the crash of UPS Boeing 747 - 400 Cargo investigation, but didn't actually reveal anything new, wasting about 5 minutes of the lives of everyone who read it (and 10 minutes of ours because we read it twice trying very hard to find the details that were apparently being revealed).
Air India Dubai Mangalore plane crash 22 May 2010
- 22 May 2010 - Air India Express Boeing 737-800 flight IX-812 from Dubai (DXB) to Mangalore (IXE) crashed on arrival at 0600 or 0630 Mangalore time. The plane overshot the runway into the forest below, and burst into flames. One report said the aircraft hit a radar pole as it landed.
- Of the 160 passengers and 6 crew, 158 died in the crash, 1 died on the way to hospital, and the other 7 were hospitalised, 3 with serious injuries.
- A survivor was reported by the Press Trust of India (PTI) as saying "There was no warning to passengers about any trouble and it appeared a smooth landing, ... Immediately on touching the ground the aircraft jerked, ... split in the middle and caught fire. I just jumped from the gap,"
Previous list of plane crashes in Dubai and other incidents
- 18 November 2011 - an Italian military M346 aircraft crashed on the Nakheel Deira Island (Deira Palm) after takeoff from Dubai International Airport at 1230. The plane had been at the Dubai Airshow and was en route to Saudi Arabia. Captain Giovanni Bingley lost contact with the airport shortly after take off. Dubai Police later received a 999 call that the plane had ended up on Nakheel Deira Island. THe crew ejected successfully but the co-pilot sustained a leg fracture (reported by WAM news 18 November 2011).
- 15 January 2011 - a man died when he landed on the roof of a house in Lahore on 13 January 2011. Pakistani authorities said he apparently fell out of the wheel well of a plane flying over the area. According to
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Kamran Malik, an AirBlue flight from Lahore to Dubai was in the sky at the time, but a connection between the dead stowaway traveller and the AirBlue aircraft was not confirmed.
- 21 October 2009 - Sudan Airlines Boeing 707 cargo flight crashed into the desert, killing 6 crew members. Flight departed from Sharjah Airport, not Dubai Airport though.
- 15 November 1993 - an Aviastar Antonov 124-100 with 14 passengers and 3 crew enroute from Dubai to Kerman in Iran (KER) crashed into a mountain near Kerman Airport while in a holding pattern. All passengers and crew died.
- 03 July 1988 - flight IR655, an Iran Air Airbus A300 with 274 passengers and 16 crew enroute from Bandara Abbas (BND) to Dubai (DXB) was shot down by two surface-to-air missiles fired from the USS Vincennes CG49, a USA navy missile cruiser operating in the Gulf at the time. The US Navy said they thought the plane was an F14 fighter plane intending to attack them. There were reports that the US Navy had up and down confused - the airliner was climbing but the navy thought it was descending. All passengers and crew died.
- 04 December 1984 - a Kuwait Airways Airbus A300C4-620 flight KU221 from Dubai to Karachi (KHI) with 161 passengers and crew, registration 9K-AHG, was hijacked and forced to land at Tehran-Mehrebad Airport (THR) in Iran. After 6 days on the ground, the plane was stormed and the 4 hijackers were arrested. Three American diplomats were onboard - Charles Hegna, Charles Kapar, and William Stanford - and another American citizen, John Costa, who were all tortured by the hijackers, resulting in the deaths of Mr Hegna and Mr Stanford.
- 24 August 1984 - Indian Airlines Boeing 737-2A8 domestic flight from Delhi (DEL) to Srinagar (SXR) was hijacked, with the 7 hijackers demanding to be flown to the USA or UAE (both countries reported, maybe the hijackers weren't too crash-hot on geography). The plane landed in Dubai where apparently the UAE Defense Minister at the time (Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum? Unconfirmed) negotiated the release of the passengers. There were no fatalities.
- 01 January 1978 - an Air India Boeing 747 on the way to Dubai flew into the Arabian Sea near India after takeoff from Bombay (BOM) when the pilot apparently thought he was flying the plane up instead of down, possibly due to instrument failure or inconsistency. All 190 passengers and 23 crew died.
- 13 October 1977 - A Lufthansa Boeing 737 (flight 181) en route from Palma de Mallorca to Frankfurt was hijacked. The plane flew to Rome, Cyprus, Bahrain, and then Dubai. The hijackers forced Dubai Airport authorities to refuel the plane by threatening to kill hostages. The plane then flew to Aden in South Yemen, and Mogadishu in Somalia. The four Arab and German hijackers were demanding a ransom of $15.5 million and freedom for 13 terrorists in German and Turkish prisons in return for the release of the 87 hostages. On 18 October 1977, West German commandos stormed the plane in Mogadishu, releasing 86 hostages and killing 3 of the 4 hijackers. The pilot was killed by the terrorists while the plane was on the ground in Aden.
- 01 January 1976 - a Middle East Airlines (MEA) Boeing 720 flight FL370 enroute to Dubai with 66 passengers and 15 crew crashed into the desert near Al Qaysumah in Saudi Arabia after departure from Beirut (BEY) when a bomb exploded in the luggage compartment. All occupants died.
- 25 November 1973 - A KLM Boeing 747 flight from Amsterdam to Tokyo with 247 passengers was hijacked and landed in Malta after the hijackers threatened to blow up the plane. After being refuelled, most passengers were released when the Maltese Prime Minister, Dom Mintoff, told the hijackers the runway was too short for the plane to take off with both the passengers and fuel (the runway was in fact too short for a Boeing 747 and the captain was commended for his landing). The plane then flew to Dubai with 11 passengers, where the hijackers were given safe conduct out of the UAE in exchange for the safe return of the passengers and plane.
- 14 March 1972 - a Sterling Airways Caravelle with 106 passengers and 6 crew on a flight from Colombo (CMB) to Dubai to Copenhagen flew into a mountain near Kalba (on the east coast of the UAE). All occupants died.