Dubai International figures soar to new heights

by JBrown on August 3, 2012

in Business

The airport has enjoyed its busiest ever six months indicating that its ambitious growth plans are well on track

Dubai International Airport recorded the busiest first half in its history with 27.9 million passengers passing through its three terminals between January and June in 2012, according to a traffic report issues by airport operator Dubai Airports.

The airport handled 4,714,746 passengers in June, strong growth of 16 per cent over the 4,065,809 who passed through the airport in June 2011.

The year-to-date traffic also rose steeply to 27,931,639, up 13.7 per cent from 24,567,818 in the first half of 2011. The average monthly passenger traffic recorded in the first six months of the year stood at 4.65 million compared to 4.09 million during the corresponding period in 2011.

“Our record first half had some interesting story lines, highlighted by the launch of 12 new routes, the addition of four new airlines and a surge in traffic on routes to Saudi Arabia, USA, Qatar and Australia,” said Paul Griffiths.

“We are on track to meet the annual projected traffic of 56.5 million passengers, which will bring us very close to Dubai International’s operational capacity of 60 million passengers per annum,” added Griffiths.

Expansion plans

Dubai International Airport is engaged in a US$7.8 billion expansion plan which aims to boost passenger traffic to 90 million passengers a year by 2018. The infrastructure plans include Concourse 3, Concourse 4, and the expansion of Terminal 2.

Concourse 3 is most spectacular development. It is the second largest building in the world by floor space and the largest airport terminal in the world. When it opens at the end of this year, it will increase the total capacity of the airport to 75 million passengers.

Concourse 3 will be exclusively for the Emirates Airbus A380. Many of the gates will have double flight boarding, allowing business class and first-class passengers will get direct access to the upper level of the aircraft.

“If our growth continues and the rest of the world growth continues at its current levels, we fully expect by the middle of this decade to be eyeing the world number one spot in terms of international passenger traffic,” said Paul Griffiths, the chief executive of Dubai Airports.

Top destinations:

In terms of top destinations served by Dubai International during the period under review, the five countries with the greatest passenger volumes were India, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Pakistan and the US.

The Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) continued to top the list of regions with the largest increase in total passenger numbers (+180,397 passengers), followed by Western Europe (+124,690), and the Indian subcontinent (+82,543).

Dubai International’s new purpose-built A380 facility, Concourse 3, is set to become a destination in its own right with the introduction of leading food and beverage concepts.

Ranging from Giraffe – the popular international family restaurant which will open its first outlet in the Middle East at Dubai International – to trusted brands such as Paul, Dubai Airports has assembled a portfolio of 16 public food outlets and bars.

Great news for investors

The expansion of Dubai International reflects the rising status of the emirate as both a business and a tourist destination. This is great news for investors who can bank on rising demand in the property sector on the back of a thriving economy.

This should spark interest in the many new hotel developments, such as The First Group’s two luxury hotel apartment projects in Tecom, Metro Central and Grand Central, which are situated in the bustling business district of Tecom in the heart of “New Dubai”. The luxury end of the market did particularly well in 2011, soaring 17.6 per cent.

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