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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Dubai International marks busiest ever month buoyed by Indian, Saudi and British passengers

Smart Gates are also cutting down waiting times, airport chief says

Dubai International marked its busiest ever month in August 2018. EPA / Ali Haider
Dubai International marked its busiest ever month in August 2018. EPA / Ali Haider

Dubai International marked its busiest ever August, boosted by passengers from India, Saudi and the UK.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, said 8.37 million passengers passed through the hub, surpassing the airport's former record of 8.23 million in August 2017.

August marks the second consecutive month that the hub has crossed the 8 million customer mark, setting operating company Dubai Airports up for a strong third quarter.

DXB’s average monthly traffic this year is 7.5 million. That’s 1.2 million more than its closest rival London Heathrow, at 6.29 million.

August is particularly busy given the number of Hajj pilgrims passing through and the many families returning to the UAE after the summer break.

“It’s another milestone for Dubai Airports as we continue to break records and set the bar even higher," Mr Griffiths said on Wednesday.

"While the numbers speak volumes about our growth, our aim is to continue pushing the boundaries on experience and provide customers with the best possible service. We are making progress on that front as well with shorter queue times, world-leading F&B and retail and other touches like spas, swimming pools and trampolines that help us stand out from the crowd.”

In numbers

Customers served: 8,376,478 in August (+ 1.7 per cent) which boosted DXB’s year to date numbers to 60,323,570 (+ 1.6 per cent).

Baggage volumes: 7.2 million bags (+5.9 per cent) passed through the airport’s 175 km long baggage system.

Queue times: Despite high volumes, queue times dropped 44 per cent in August thanks to Smart Gate technology, which speeds customers through immigration

Top destinations

India remained DXB’s top destination country by customer volumes, with total traffic reaching 1,012,124 during the month. Saudi Arabia was second with 613,618 passengers, followed by the UK with 603,531. Other markets of note include US (306,701 passengers) and China (215,211).

The top three cities were London (371,574 paseengers), Kuwait (272,607) and Mumbai (210,820).

The fastest growing regions were Eastern Europe up by 25.7 per cent, the central Asian states up 14.8 per cent and Africa growing 11.2 per cent.

Flights

The average number of customers per flight remained high at 243 but was down slightly (-1.6 per cent).

So far this year, 272,600 flights have taken-off or landed at DXB (-0.7 per cent).

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