Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid urged staff to "raise the bar" for customer service during a flying visit to Dubai International Airport.
Travellers were surprised to see the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, accompanied by his son, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, make the airport his latest destination.
They were also accompanied by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chief executive and chairman of the Emirates Group.
Sheikh Mohammed carried out an inspection of the facilities and called upon airport officials to raise the bar in welcoming travellers and simplifying procedures for people flying in and out of the UAE.
Dubai International Airport passenger traffic for the 12 months to the end of May totalled 88.23 million, a 2.6 per cent year-on-year rise, as one of the world's busiest airports remains on track to welcome 90 million passengers this year.
Sheikh Hamdan, a prolific user of social media, was on hand to capture the visit, posting video footage on his official Twitter account.