Emirates Group

Emirates Group


The Emirates Group is a Dubai-based international aviation holding company headquartered in Garhoud, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, near Dubai International Airport. The Emirates Group comprises Dnata, an aviation services company providing ground handling services at 17 airports, and Emirates Airline, the largest airline in the Middle East. Emirates Airlines flies to over 130 destinations across 6 continents, operating a fleet of over 202 wide-bodied aircraft. The airline has 170 aircraft on order worth US$58 billion.


As the British pulled out of Dubai in the late 1950s, Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum al Maktoum decreed an open seas, open skies, and open trade policy, to develop the country. He also required all government agencies to make a profit. The country was aiming to eliminate its dependence on its finite oil reserves within 50 years.

The Dubai National Air Transport Association (DNATA) was formed in 1959, and by the mid-1980s, it was employing 2,500 employees. It consisted of three business segments: Dnata Airport Operations, Dnata Cargo and Dnata Agencies. In addition to providing support services at Dubai International Airport, the company served as sales agent for 26 airlines. Dubai had been used as a stopover on routes between Europe and the Far East since the days of Imperial Airways, which landed its flying boats there en route to Australia. The open skies policies kept its airport among the busiest in the Middle East.

During the mid-1980s, Gulf Air began to cut back it services to Dubai.The Emirates Group became profitable within its first nine months. During its first year, the airline carried about 260,000 passengers and 10,000 tons of freight. By 1986, the airline was adding new destinations such as Colombo, Dhaka, Amman, and Cairo to its route network.

Emirates Sky Cargo, which operated as a separate entity, carried 25,000 tons of freight in fiscal 1989. Emirates expanded its route network into the Far East in 1990, and expanded its European operations in the summer of 1992. In 1990, the airline purchased three additional Airbus A310-300s from Airbus. The Group also launched Marhaba in December 1991 as a premium meet and greet service for passengers travelling through Dubai International Airport.

Corporate management

The Emirates Group is a subsidiary of the Dubai government investment company, Investment Corporation of Dubai.The group has recorded a profit every year, except the second, and growth has never fallen below 20% a year. In its first 11 years, it doubled in size every 3.5 years, and has every four years since.

In 2008 Emirates paid dividends worth US$776 million to the Government of Dubai. The government has received Dhs3.1 billion from Emirates since dividends started being paid in 1999 for having provided an initial start-up capital of US$10m and an additional investment of circa US$80m at the time of the airline’s inception. The Dubai government is the sole owner of the company. However, it does not put any new money into it, nor does it interfere with running the airline.


The Emirates Group continues to grow and support the progression of the UAE and Dubai, through embracing all areas of commerce and tourism. Our high-class performance is the result of sustained quality standards from hard-working and loyal staff and management. We aim to consistently develop our business nationally and internationally with the highest standards of quality and service by recruiting the best.

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