I just came across this post on CNN.com, where they are quoting Emirates CEO Tim Clark on Emirates considering buying a fleet of narrow-bodied aircraft within the next 18 months.
It is a radical change from what Emirates now is operating, as they have a 2-aircraft fleet only, solely operating the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A380. Of course, there is a big difference in the number of passengers in those planes too, the Boeing 777-200LR only takes about 260 passengers, whereas the one-class Airbus A380 takes 615 passenger, but still moving from this fleet and adding a narrow-bodied fleet will be interesting.
There are big advantages in the way Emirates operates their fleets today, training and scheduling of crew is a lot easier compared to Etihad and Qatar Airways who operates a huge variety of narrow- and wide-bodied aircraft, and I am sure maintenance and spare parts are more easily managed with a smaller variety of aircraft.
On the other hand the problem is that Emirates has to operate big aircraft on less popular routes, or will not be able to operate to a lot of destinations which might only be providing 100-150 passengers pr day on average, as there is no profit to be made flying half-empty aircraft.
I am not convinces that Emirates will go through with this plan, I believe we are more likely to see an alliance or at least a close cooperation with Fly Dubai instead, as they basically have the same owner and are already operating a large fleet of Boeing 737s out of Dubai.