Emirates has just announced that they will be launching service to a rather unexpected destination... Fort Lauderale. When I heard this I was a bit surprised by it. Actually I first saw this on Emirates' Instagram account, but dismissed it because I didn't think that Emirates would actually fly to Fort Lauderdale.
Unlike most other Emirates US routes, Fort Lauderdale does not have the large local population that most major US cities can provide to Emirates. With a city population size of only 173,000 it would seem to be a confusing choice on the surface. Why provide service to such a small city with a population that would likely be unable to sustain a daily flight between Dubai and the US?
There is an answer to that question and it comes in the form of Emirates partnerships. Jet Blue uses Fort Lauderdale as a launching point for many Central American and Caribbean destinations as well as a connection point to other places in the US. Since the Fort Lauderdale airport is used as a heavy Jet Blue hub, this is likely the reason for Emirates initiating flights to this small city. Jet Blue is an Emirates partner and as such, can easily transfer passengers from around the US to an Emirates flight to continue on to the rest of the world connecting in Dubai.
Emirates will begin operating the flight in December with one of their 777-200LR aircraft. If you live in the Florida area and use Jet Blue, you now have a new connection point to the rest of the world. Oh, and their first class cabin is pretty awesome if you've got a spare 10 grand sitting around... or a pool of miles that need to get used.