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Dubai Airport records 31.7% surge in passengers for 2023; India tops the list with 11.9mn arrivals

India has emerged at the top spot for the highest number of passengers flying through the Dubai International Airport (DXB), the world’s busiest for international travel, with traffic totalling 11.9 million guests, the airport announced on Monday.

According to a statement, DXB surpassed not only its own yearly forecast but also pre-pandemic levels of traffic.

In 2023, DXB witnessed a surge in passenger numbers, reaching 86.9 million passengers (86,994,365), an impressive year-on-year increase of 31.7%.

It was just under a per cent higher than the passenger numbers recorded in 2019 (86.4 million), the numbers were driven by robust growth in the second half of the year during which the airport recorded a total of 45.4 million guests.

With 7.8 million guests, December was the busiest month in the fourth quarter during which the airport welcomed a total of 22.4 million guests, a year-on-year growth of 13.8 per cent compared to Q4 of last year. Q3 remained the quarter with the highest traffic since 2019 with 23 million guests while August, with 7.9 million guests, was the month with the highest traffic.

DXB is currently connected to 262 destinations across 104 countries through 102 international carriers, according to data for 2023.
India claimed the top spot among destination countries with traffic totalling 11.9 million guests, followed by Saudi Arabia with 6.7 million guests and the U.K. with 5.9 million guests. Other country markets of note include Pakistan (4.2 million), the U.S. (3.6 million), Russia (2.5 million), and Germany (2.5 million).

DXB processed a total of 77.5 million bags in 2023, making it the highest volume of bags managed during a calendar year at the airport. Despite 24.6% year-on-year increase in baggage volume, DXB maintained its unmatched success rate of 99.8%, with only 2.4 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers.

More than 95% of guests experienced less than seven minutes of waiting time at the departure passport control while the average waiting time at security check-in departures was less than four minutes for 97.5% of guests.

According to the ACI World’s globally recognised Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme, DXB scored 4.5, the highest result achieved by the airport to date.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, said the “remarkable performance marks the successful and ahead-of-time completion of the airport’s recovery journey”.

London retained its position as DXB’s top destination with 3.7 million guests, followed by Riyadh with 2.6 million guests, and Mumbai with 2.5 million guests.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said 2023 was an exceptional year and is a testament to DXB’s commitment to “operational excellence, efficiency, innovation and delivering exemplary guest experience”.

Initial forecasts indicate that in 2024, DXB is anticipated to receive 88.8 million guests, putting the hub within striking distance of its previous all-time high record of 89.1 million guests set in 2018.


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