UAE News Today : Politics

By full year 2023, Dubai International Airport passenger numbers will finally reach pre-Covid levels

Dubai: Dubai airports have once again revised upward their forecasts for the full year 2023, from 85 million to 86.8 million, as the city expects greater travel demand in the coming weeks. The numbers will also be boosted by the United Arab Emirates hosting the COP28 global summit on climate change and sustainability initiatives.

The revised figures put Dubai International Airport on track to surpass pre-Covid passenger traffic – “almost a year”. In 2019, the year before Covid, Dubai Airport handled 86.3 million travelers.

In the first nine months, Dubai International Airport handled 64.5 million passengers, of which 22.9 arrived in the July to September period alone (which also saw peak summer travel demand). That’s 39.3 percent more compared to the corresponding time in 2022 and 1 percent more than in 2019.

“We are delighted, but not entirely surprised, that DXB is set to surpass the pre-pandemic milestone well ahead of our initial projections by almost a year,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “Our outlook for the rest of this year – and next – remains optimistic.”

On average, DXB reported that 7.6 million travelers use the center monthly.

Future profits are in sight

The airport said current trends in numbers are expected to continue into 2024. Looking ahead, Griffiths confirmed that Dubai International is undertaking a strategic project to expand infrastructure capacity while improving operational efficiency.

The redevelopment plan will raise the hub’s current capacity from 100 million passengers a year to 120 million. In a previous interview with Gulf NewsThe airport’s general manager said DXB is investing between Dh6 billion and Dh10 billion for the expansion.

The airport stated that Dubai tops the list of cities with the highest spending by international visitors, with a total profit of $29.4 billion.

Reduce waiting time

The average waiting time in passport control queues at Dubai Airport was less than 11 minutes for 96.4% of arriving passengers. Around 95.1% of passengers queued for less than six minutes at departure passport control.

The average queue time at the departure security control was less than 4 minutes for 98.4% of all passengers.

India destinations remain on top

In terms of passengers and their travel schedules, India continues to maintain its position as the top DXB destination country, with 8.9 million passengers in the first nine months of the year. It is followed by Saudi Arabia with 4.8 million passengers and the United Kingdom with 4.4 million passengers.

Other destination countries include Pakistan (3.1 million passengers), the United States (2.7 million) and Russia (1.8 million). The cities with the highest traffic were London (2.7 million passengers) and Riyadh (1.9 million), closely followed by Mumbai (1.8 million) and Jeddah (1.7 million).

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