Passenger flows through Dubai's main airport climbed 14.6 per cent in January compared with the same month in 2012, boosted by holiday traffic and visitors coming for the Dubai Shopping Festival, airport authorities said on Tuesday.
Traffic rose to 5.56 million passengers from 4.85m a year ago, Dubai Airports said. During all of 2012, passenger flows increased 13.2 per cent to 57.68m people.
"January's record passenger numbers confirm that the growth trajectory recorded last year has continued into 2013 and Dubai Airports has taken another steady stride towards the 98 million passengers a year we expect to pass through our airport by the end of the decade," the company's chief executive Paul Griffiths said.
Freight volume through Dubai International rose 8.6 per cent in January to 188,520 tonnes from a year earlier, supported by improved consumer confidence in the United States and Europe, Dubai Airports said.
Last year, Dubai International overtook Hong Kong to become the world's third busiest airport for international passenger traffic, according to data from the airports.
Traffic through neighbouring Abu Dhabi is also growing rapidly. Passenger numbers at Abu Dhabi International Airport jumped 19.6 per cent to over 1.3m last month, while freight volume grew 25 per cent to 48,875 tonnes.