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Dubai airport’s passenger traffic surging beyond pre-pandemic levels in 2023

Dubai Airports anticipates annual passenger traffic to hit 86.8 million following an "exponential surge" in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Dubai airport’s passenger traffic surging beyond pre-pandemic levels in 2023
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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Dubai solidifies its role as a global aviation hub, consistently attracting more travelers worldwide. This enhances cultural exchange, supports economic growth, and reinforces its reputation as a lively and inviting destination.

The city backs up this claim with concrete numbers. Dubai International Airport, one of the world’s busiest aviation hubs, is witnessing a noteworthy resurgence. In the third quarter of 2023, passenger traffic reached 22.9 million, the highest quarterly figure since 2019.

64.5 million passengers traveled through DXB in the first nine months of 2023, showcasing a 39.3% increase compared to the same period in 2022. This figure stands 1% above the corresponding period in 2019.

This impressive growth trajectory is poised to continue, as Dubai Airports predicts annual passenger traffic to exceed pre-pandemic levels, reaching 86.8 million in 2023. However, the report does not specify the factors driving this surge in passenger numbers.

Dubai’s turnaround is credited to a combination of factors. These include its swift economic recovery post-COVID-19, its status as a haven amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and its relaxed residency rules, encouraging property investments. Consequently, Dubai has evolved into a flourishing hub for tourism and trade, drawing visitors from around the world.

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

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