Passenger traffic through Dubai International airport was up 8 per cent last year, new figures show.
Dubai International airport passenger numbers soar to record
Passenger traffic through Dubai International airport increased by 8 per cent last year to reach a record of almost 51 million, Dubai Airports announced today.
"In a year that was characterised by economic uncertainty, political instability and high oil prices passenger growth continued unabated driven by new routes and additional frequencies as airlines capitalised on Dubai's attractiveness as a business and tourism destination," said Paul Griffiths, the chief executive of Dubai Airports.
The number of passengers at the airport last year reached 50.98 million compared to 47.2 million the year before.
Passenger numbers reached 4.69 million in December, up 10.2 per cent from 4.26 million in the same month a year earlier, according to Dubai Airports.
Passenger traffic on routes between Dubai to Eastern Europe grew by 81 per cent last year. The biggest markets in terms of total passenger numbers included the UK and Saudi Arabia.
Dubai Airports last year announced that it would invest $7.8 billion in an airport expansion programme to boost its capacity from 60 million passengers a year to 90 million passengers by 2018.
The next major step in these plans will be the completion of Concourse 3, described as the world's largest dedicated A380 facility, which is scheduled for the end of this year, Dubai Airports said.
Air freight traffic was up slightly in December to 189,593 tonnes, an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to the 188,103 tonnes in the same month a year earlier.
But cargo traffic for the full year was hit by economic uncertainty in Europe and the United States, with a decline in consumer confidence leading to a drop in exports, from Asia in particular, Dubai Airports said.
Cargo volumes totalled 2.19 million tonnes in 2011, down 1.5 per cent from 2.22 tonnes the previous year.