Dubai International Airport pax rises 8.4% as it records busiest ever quarter

By Benedict Evans |

DXB managed 26.8 million bags through its extensive baggage system during the first quarter.

Dubai International Airport (DXB) has made a very strong start to the year by recording its busiest quarter in history, with 23 million guests passing through its terminals, marking an 8.4% increase compared to the same period last year.

DXB noted this surge in traffic affirms its role as a global aviation hub and a key driver of Dubai’s economy, and the Middle East’s aviation sector.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports commented, “The robust growth trajectory at DXB continued in the first quarter of the year, with the hub recording some truly impressive numbers. Thanks in part to the proliferation of cities being added to our network by our home base carriers Emirates and flydubai, in recent months.

As Dubai emerges as a global leader for attracting talent, businesses, and tourists from across the globe, our focus remains on sustaining growth momentum and enhancing the overall airport experience for every guest passing through our terminals.”

Key Figures
Q1 saw 109,238 total flight movements, an 8.3% increase year-on-year increase. With load factors reaching 79.1% in the first quarter, the passenger per aircraft movement reached 217, a minor change from 220 per aircraft recorded during the same period in 2023.

Total passenger traffic for the quarter reached 23,052,060 guests, with January recording the highest traffic at 7.9 million pax.

DXB drives Dubai’s economic growth and tourism, with the city registering a 3.3% increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) valued at approximately AED 307.9bn (£65.9bn).

Griffiths added: “With a strong start to Q2 and an optimistic outlook for the rest of the year, we have revised our forecast for the year to 91 million guests, surpassing our previous annual traffic record of 89.1 million in 2018.”

The airport also highlighted its efficient handling of ever-increasing passenger traffic and high cargo volumes as supporting the Emirate’s diversified economy.

DXB serves as the main gateway to Dubai, with connections to 256 destinations across 102 countries through 90 international carriers, dually serving as a global business and logistics hub.

Expanding Markets
In Q1 India remained DXB’s top destination country, with passenger traffic reaching 3.1 million, followed by Saudi Arabia (2m), the UK (1.5m), and Pakistan (1.1m).

Other significant contributors include the US (836,000), Russia (725,000), and Germany (728,000).

Top cities by passenger numbers include London with 961,000 guests, Riyadh (795,000), and Jeddah (669,000), followed closely by Mumbai with 637,000 pax.

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