Ah but DXB is already a well established intercontinental hub with a well established intercontinental airline. EK didn't grow on the back of routes like LHR-DXB-JNB, they grew on Europe-Australia/Southeast Asia/Indian subcontinent (where DXB is a logical stopping point) and spread their wings and international reputation from there.
With the exception of Australia, virtually all of Emirates routes Europe to to the east are flown non-stop from Europe and any one of those routes is longer with a stop than without one - LOL.
Yet many Europeans collectively decided that a one-stop at DXB was an acceptable idea. Price helped, of course, but there's more to it than price.
HA would have to establish themselves against preexisting and better located hubs such as NRT/ICN/SFO/LAX/SEA/ORD/DTW, all of which have extensive flight options across Asia/the US, with similar costs.
Hawaiian seems to be headed down that road already - as Air New Zealand is at AKL, which is much further "out of the way" than HNL. For most of my life, Air NZ was considered an end-of-line carrier, and the idea of AKL as a genuine Pacific Rim hub is relatively recent - although that possibility has always been there.
Most people here seem to see Hawaiian as an end-of-line carrier - that Hawaii is the destination and that's it - but Hawaii has always been a fairly natural cross-roads, at least for the Pacific Rim.
I don't think anyone is suggesting that Hawaiian becomes another Emirates or that HNL becomes another DXB. Although always to remember that DXB was a sand-pit with foul summer temperatures when Emirates began, not the city it is now, but I still wouldn't stopover there in August whereas I'll take a stopover in Hawaii any time.
It's so easy to say "no" - any a.netter can and does bash almost any idea, especially if it involves the A380, and while I doubt that this will happen - I doubt Hawaiian will get the A380 - I fully understand why Mr. Dunkerly didn't simply slam the door on the discussion.