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16 April 2024

Dubai airport grows beyond expectations

By Shweta Jain



Dubai International emerged as the world’s fastest growing airport in 2007. New figures show the air terminal recorded expansion of 19.31 per cent, compared to the previous year, with more than 34 million passengers passing through its halls.

Passenger traffic is expected to reach 40 million this year, according to Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Dubai Airports.

Dubai Airports oversees the management of Dubai International and the forthcoming Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central in Jebel Ali. In 2006, ACI ranked Dubai’s airport as the 10th busiest in the world. Since then, the airport made a strong upswing. Aircraft movements went up 9.8 per cent in 2007 to 260,530 from 237,258, the airport said in a statement yesterday, adding that it has exceeded its original target of 33m passengers for the year.

The record growth is likely to propel Dubai International higher on ACI’s list of the world’s busiest airports, according to the statement. It said the high growth rate in passenger throughput in 2007 means the airport has maintained a growth rate of well over 15 per cent for the sixth consecutive year.

August emerged as the busiest month last year for the airport in terms of passenger figures with 3.28m, whereas October recorded the highest growth rate at 29.92 per cent. And for the first time in the airport’s history, the monthly passenger throughput crossed the three million mark three times during the year, while it was above 2.5m for each of the remaining nine months. Average passenger movement per day is 95,000.

“We are planning to invest $82bn [Dh301bn] into Dubai International over the next 10 years. However, not all of that will be used for just increasing capacity. A lot of it would be used to improve customer service as the two go hand-in-hand,” Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports, recently told Emirates Business. “The opening of the new terminal and associated facilities later this year means we will have the operational capacity to handle the increasing passenger throughput.”

The growth in 2007 resulted in increased aircraft movement. The airport handled 260,530 movements in 2007 as compared to 237,258 in 2006. On an average, there are 725 arrivals and departures per day.


Key facts 

Scheduled airlines




Average aircraft movements in December


Passengers per day


Total parking bays