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17 April 2024

DXB smashes targets with 87 million guests in 2023, rising 31.7% from previous year

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By E247

Dubai International (DXB) has concluded a record-breaking year of achievements and extraordinary growth by welcoming 87 million guests in annual traffic in 2023, surpassing not only Dubai Airports' own yearly forecast but also pre-pandemic levels of traffic. This remarkable performance marks the successful and ahead-of-time completion of DXB’s recovery journey, further solidifying its position as the world's leading airport for international passenger traffic.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai said: “DXB's spectacular performance in 2023 is a resounding testament to the visionary leadership and determination of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to achieve growth and excellence across sectors, surmounting all challenges along the way. This exceptional performance underscores Dubai's emergence as the world’s most popular tourism destination and its pivotal role in global commerce and trade, facilitated by the unmatched connectivity, aviation capacity and logistics infrastructure that has been built steadily over the years under His Highness’s leadership.”

“Dubai is setting new benchmarks in passenger experience with excellence levels and innovative technologies that constantly redefine airport services. Consistent with the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to consolidate Dubai’s status as one of the world’s top three cities for tourism and business over the next decade, the city continues to grow rapidly as a global aviation hub and the world’s preferred gateway for international travelers. As we celebrate these accomplishments, we remain committed to further enhancing Dubai's leading position on the global stage.”

His Highness noted that Dubai Airports, led by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, has introduced strategic initiatives and made vital investments in infrastructure, technology, and customer service to place Dubai at the forefront of global aviation growth.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said, "I am incredibly proud of everyone at Dubai International, for their dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence, which has propelled us to break many of our own records. 2023 was an exceptional year and is a testament to our unwavering commitment to innovation, efficiency and delivering exemplary guest experience. This translated to DXB achieving its highest internal engagement scores – a reflection of our commitment to fostering a collaborative culture, where every contribution is valued and every employee is empowered to their full potential. I want to express my gratitude to our dedicated team, the heartbeat of our organisation, and to our partners whose, collaborative work was instrumental in achieving these milestones.

“Looking ahead, we're renewing our commitment to collectively enhance the airport experience for our all our guests by launching a significant project to expand and refurbish facilities at DXB, to fortify our infrastructure for future growth. DXB remains firmly positioned as a global leader, setting the gold standard for exceptional guest experiences and international aviation excellence.”

Traffic figures

In 2023, DXB witnessed a surge in guest numbers, reaching a total of 86,994,365, an impressive year-on-year increase of 31.7%. Just under a per cent higher than the guest 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% compared to Q4 of last year. Q3 remained the quarter with highest traffic since 2019 with 23 million guests while August, with 7.9 million guests, was the month with the highest traffic.

As of the latest data for 2023, DXB is currently connected to 262 destinations across 104 countries through 102 international carriers.

 

Operational excellence and guest experience

DXB processed an impressive 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 departure passport control while the average waiting time at security check on departures was less than four minutes for 97.5% of guests.

In ACI World’s globally recognised Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme, DXB scored  4.5, the highest result achieved by the airport to date, reflecting the hub’s commitment to continuously enhance guest satisfaction, business performance and airport service quality.

Top country destinations

India claimed the top spot among destination countries with traffic totalling 11.9 million guests, followed by KSA with 6.7 million guests and the UK with 5.9 million guests. Other country markets of note include Pakistan (4.2 million), the US (3.6 million), Russia (2.5 million), and Germany (2.5 million).

Top destinations

London retained its position as the top destination with 3.7 million guests, followed by Riyadh with 2.6 million guests, Mumbai with 2.5 million guests.

Cargo

In 2023, DXB handled cargo totalling 1,805,898 tonnes, showing a slight decrease of 4.5% compared to the previous year. Cargo volumes registered a growth of 20.4% year-on-year in the fourth quarter to reach 506,018 tonnes.

Flight Movements

The double-digit increase in guest numbers during the year continued to reflect in flight movements at the hub which totalled 416,405 in 2023, the highest ever total movements recorded at DXB, and up 21.3% year-on-year. 

 

Outlook

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.