World’s Biggest Airport Opens Its Doors In Dubai

CXX238 A skyline view of Downtown Dubai, showing the Burj Khalifa  skyline; view; Downtown; Dubai; Burj; Khalifa; dusk; arab; ar
Alamy, Flickr

Dubai has made no secret of its desire to do everything on a grand scale. The country boasts the world’s biggest shopping malls and even the world’s biggest natural flower garden. And now, the Gulf emirate has finally cut the ribbon on the world’s biggest airport.

Although it’s not yet complete, the Al-Maktoum International Airport opened its doors to passengers this weekend. The first plane to land at the new hub , a flight from Budapest, was welcomed with a water cannon salute when it touched down.

The new facility is the country’s second airport and is located about 50 miles away from Dubai International Airport, already one of the world’s busiest gateways. Last year, 57 million passengers passed through its terminals.When the new airport is finished, it will have five runways and be capable of welcoming 160 million passengers a year. It also will have the capacity to handle about 12 million tons of cargo. The new airport is in the middle of a special economic zone in Dubai, which includes one of the world’s biggest man-made harbors and a huge terminal for container ships. Officials believe the new airport will play an important role in shaping Dubai as a center for trade, commerce and tourism.

Despite all the fanfare, only a few airlines have signed on to use the new airport so far, although officials are confident that other carriers will soon follow suit.

World’s Biggest Forms of Transportation

There’s been a lot of attention lately surrounding the new Airbus A380, which is the biggest passenger plane in the world. At 239 feet, the A380 has a maximum take-off weight of 1.23 million pounds and can carry 555 passengers. Since bigger is better, a stretch A380 is already in the works.

A380

Sure, this plane is big — but it’s not the only big way to travel.

In fact, the A380 is not even the biggest plane in the world. The biggest plane in the world is the Ukrainian built Antonov-225 strategic airlifter. At 291 feet and capable of a maximum takeoff weight of 1.3 million pounds, the An-225 edges out the A380 slightly. Amusingly, the Soviet nickname for the An-225 is “Mriya,” which is Ukrainian for “dream.” If this thing were rolling down the runway towards you, you’d call it “nightmare”! Also the heaviest airplane in the world, the An-225 even carried the Soviet’s Buran space shuttle on its back.

An-225

Coming back to earth, the world’s longest train is a staggering 1.8 miles long. Getting caught behind a railroad crossing where this train was passing could take a while. Fortunately, the train is in Mauritania, which means most people won’t be inconvenienced by it. Photos of anything that’s 1.8 miles long don’t really do that thing justice, so check out this video:

Moving off land and into the water, the Knock Nevis Super Tanker is the largest ship in the world. At 1504 feet long, this ship can hold a lot of Twinkies. Capable of ferrying 4.2 million barrels of oil, it takes the Knock Nevis 5.5 miles to stop.

Knock

Most ordinary people can’t ride on the Knock Nevis, of course; they have to travel by ocean liner. Currently, the honor for the world’s longest ocean liner goes to the super-elegant Queen Mary 2. At 1132 feet, she’s way shorter than the Knock, but still — nothing to sneeze at. She also earns the prize for tallest and widest ocean liner. There’s a great video of her passing the QE2 on the QM2 website.

QM2 in San Fran

I bet you didn’t know that the record for the world’s tallest unicycle is held by Sem Abrahams. If you’re interested, you can watch Sem teeter 114.8 feet in the air — that’s as tall as the Statue of Liberty! — on this video. You can sort of see him in the image below. Um, Sem, where’s the net?

Sem

  • Bonus: The largest unicycle wheel has a diameter of 73 inches.
  • Bonus 2: The most-wheeled unicycle has 13 wheels. Huh? Check out the picture and you’ll see what I mean.

Speaking of being high, the record for the highest stilt-walk is held by Travis Wolf, who set the record in 1998 when he was 15. Clomping around on stilts that were 40 feet, 10 inches tall, Wolf beat the previous record — held by his dad — by ¾ of an inch. In the image, he’s clearly using guidewires to achieve the feat. Do you that that should be cheating?

Travis

I’m feeling dizzy thinking about Sem and Travis up in the clouds, so let’s get back to the ground. The world’s longest skateboard was built by Moshe Arazi, Aaron Lyon, and David Micley. At 30 feet, 1 inch long, the skateboard couldn’t do too many tricks — other than turn people’s heads. Those kids need a haircut.

skateboard

  • Bonus: the world’s longest skateboard jump goes to Danny Way, who flew 79 feet — over the Great Wall of China.

Think unicycles, stilts, and skateboards are lame? The world’s longest truck rolls in at a whopping 182 feet. With its 6 trailers, this behemoth can shuttle 200 tons of iron ore — but only at 40 miles per hour.

182 feet

If you’re into homemade vehicles, you’re going to love Oleg Rogov’s hand-crafted 31 foot, 4 inch motorcycle — the longest motorcycle in the world. Imagine the wheelies you could do on this! From the rest of the images, it looks like the bike has 15 seats.

Oleg's bike

What’s that? How can China — the world’s most populous country — not have big transportation? It does! In fact, China’s 82-foot-long Superliner is the world’s largest bus. With 5 doors and 40 seats, the driver of the bus brags that the bus is “flexible when cornering.”

Superliner