Graphic by Nicolas Rapp
FORTUNE -- A decade ago Dubai's international airport would have been far smaller on this map -- it was the 17th-largest hub for international travelers. Today nearly 60 million passengers move through a year, and a $7.8 billion expansion will see its capacity swell to 90 million by 2018. It will be the largest, most-trafficked international hub in the world. Dubai's neighbor Abu Dhabi is building a $3 billion terminal, and Doha, in Qatar, is sinking $15.5 billion into its international airport. All told, the region has seen a 13% rise in international passengers since 2002; North America rose just 1.3%.
Flight paths by John O'Sullivan; paths show domestic and international flights. Airport data and ranking by ACI World
This story is from the January 13, 2014 issue of Fortune.
FORTUNE -- Thanks to a bountiful supply of oil, the financial crisis did not hit Abu Dhabi as hard as it did other United Arab Emirates like Dubai. Abu Dhabi is still pursuing its ambitious urban development plan, Economic Vision 2030. The project includes a major urban expansion, notably a new commercial center, Sowwah Island, which will be home to 30,000 people and harbor luxury residences, hotels, marinas, and at MOREAug 15, 2011 5:00 AM ET
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