Home Business & Finance Dubai International retains title as #1 international airport

Dubai International retains title as #1 international airport


DUBAI: Dubai International (DXB) retained its position as the world’s busiest airport for international customer numbers for the fifth consecutive year with annual traffic for 2018 surpassing 89.1 million.  Aside from record traffic numbers, DXB enjoyed a banner year for customer service with shorter wait times and new retail and food and beverage offerings all of which are summarised in Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths’ annual video message.

Key facts and figures

Customers served: Total of 89,149,387 for the full year of 2018 (+1%). DXB welcomed 7,722,959 customers in December (-1.7%), taking the average monthly traffic at the hub to 7.4 million for the year. The 8-million customer mark was breached twice during the year in July (8.2m) and August (8.4m) making the latter the busiest month in DXB’s 58-year history.

Top destinations

India continued to hold to its position as DXB’s top destination country by passenger numbers, with traffic for the year reaching 12,279,485 – propelled mainly by top city destinations Mumbai, Delhi and Cochin. Saudi Arabia was number two on the list with 6,471,142 customers, followed closely by The United Kingdom with 6,284,771 customers. Other destination countries of note include the U.S. (3,205,524 customers) and the fast-growing markets of China (3,512,075) with 6% growth and Russia (1,533,654) which grew 14.5%.

The top three cities were London (3,817,889 customers), Mumbai (2,540,750) and Kuwait (2,194,576).

Eastern Europe was the fastest growing region with double-digit growth of 16.7%, followed by CIS at 12.9% and Africa growing 9.8%.


Flight movements for the year remained almost flat at 408,251 (-0.3%), while the average number of customers per flight grew slightly to 226 (1.3%) annually.

Waiting Times: Wait times were reduced by 28%* in 2018, thanks to DXB’s advanced operations centre which uses real-time information to improve service and efficiency, as well as the smart gates that help speed customers through immigration.


A total of 2,641,383 tonnes of airfreight was handled at DXB (-0.5%) during 2018.

Baggage volumes: 74.9 million bags (+3.1%) passed through the airport’s 175 km long baggage system during 2018. BIZ TODAY MONITOR

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