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.
The tiny nation has a population that would fit in one Manhattan neighborhood, and its sovereign wealth fund is worth an estimated $85 billion.
By Vivienne Walt
FORTUNE -- For centuries, one sure way to gauge a country's influence has been by the size of its territory and population. No surprise, then, that the U.S., China, and Russia have complex economies with global reach and serious political clout.
But what do we MOREAug 21, 2013 1:03 PM ET
Nasser Beydoun, a Michigan businessman, went to Qatar to help open restaurants like Rainforest Cafe in the area. His associates accused him of wrongdoing he denies, and now he can't come home.
By Doron Levin, contributor
FORTUNE -- When business relationships sour, the disputes can be bitter. But for one U.S. citizen, a venture gone bad in the gas-rich Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar has deteriorated from unpleasantness to nightmare.
For the past MOREJul 12, 2011 8:43 AM ET
|Inside the underground sex economy|
|NJ agrees to ban Tesla direct sales|
|Five predictions for the World Wide Web that were way, way, way off|
|West prepares sanctions against Russia over Ukraine|
|The Deep Web you don't know about|