The Orlando region welcomed a new era in air travel with the arrival of the first Emirates non-stop daily flight from Dubai to Orlando International Airport (MCO) in September. The service offers a new global gateway to the Middle East and Asia with access to other popular destinations.

“The benefits of its new service will be measured not only financially with a $100 million economic impact annually to the region, but also for decades to come as our business community takes advantage of efficient access to new destinations on several continents,” said Frank Kruppenbacher, Chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

The inaugural flight carried a delegation that included passengers from 29 countries and a group of international media.

The Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) hosted the journalists during a half-day familiarization tour that took them to Lake Nona Medical City. While there they toured the UCF College of Medicine and Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. The group heard from Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer as well as from experts in Orlando’s economy, tourism and travel industries, real estate and healthcare and life sciences.The journalists were interested in the similarities between Orlando and Dubai. Both are similar in population size, have large tourism sectors and both are home to healthcare cities developed in the last decade.