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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Dubai Airport's fastest growing market in September was North America

Dubai International Airport handled 23.8 million travellers in the first nine months of this year

A passenger walks through the Smart Tunnel at the airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. AP
A passenger walks through the Smart Tunnel at the airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. AP

Dubai International Airport saw 7.2 million customers pass through its doors in September as traffic at the world’s busiest international hub rose with the fastest growing inflows coming from North America and Africa.

Traffic overall was down slightly by 0.2 per cent in September from a year earlier, which Dubai Airports attributed to the fact that Eid Al Adha holidays, a period of high traffic, fell in September 2017.

It was the sixth time this year that DXB’s monthly traffic surpassed the 7 million mark, helping finish off the third quarter with 23.8 million travellers, up 1.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.

India remained DXB’s top destination country by volume, with total traffic reaching 957,748 during the month. The United Kingdom was the second with 538,199 travellers, followed by Saudi Arabia with 454,929 travellers.

The top three cities were London (329,778 travellers), Mumbai (199,829) and New Delhi (170,122).

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While there were fewer travelers, there was more baggage. Six million pieces of luggage passed through the airport's 175 kilometre-long baggage system, up 1.12 per cent.

A total of 306,210 flights have taken-off or landed at DXB (down -0.5 per cent) so far this year, bringing the total number of flights at DXB per day to 1,125.

In September, 221,213 tonnes of airfreight was handled at DXB (+1.9 per cent) bringing total cargo tonnage for the year to 1,932,492 (-1.3 per cent).

Earlier this month, DXB rolled out technology that is expected to replace immigration officers by 2020.

Announced at Gitex last year, the system uses face recognition technology to identify passengers, allowing them to complete immigration procedures in just 15 seconds without having their passport stamped.

For now, it's just business and first-class passengers who can use the facilities.