With the end of 2014, Dubai International Airport has inevitably become the busiest airport worldwide in terms of number international passengers over the entire year. The airport has crowned the number one spot by a lead of 1.1 million passengers from its predecessor holding the spot for a significant number of years, the London Heathrow Airport.
Heathrow had tallied 67.8 million passengers compared to Dubai Airport’s 68.9, as of records taken till the 22nd of December 2014 under Airports Council International. Given the heaviest amount of passenger traffic Dubai International received during the peak Christmas season, the airport management has expressed that the total passenger count may well have exceeded 70 million.
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Dubai International Airport records state that the Christmas week lasting between 18th and 24th December grossed the highest number of passengers processed at its counters in a week, which numbered 638,317 bookings. The airport had taken a lead over London Heathrow over the first half of 2014 as well, with the traffic of 29.6 million passengers till May 2014, compared to Heathrow’s 28.47 million passengers. Statistics show that in November alone, Dubai had housed a passenger traffic numbered at 5.5 million.
The progress in the number of passengers was affected by a few hindrances, which included the slowdown in flight traffic connecting to Russia owing to the current economic disturbance in December, as well as the confinement of airport operations on a single runway for over two months while the other runway underwent a refurbishment.
In order to give a boost and give more potential room for development for passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport, Dubai Airports Group is progressing to shift more freight traffic towards Dubai’s Al Makhtoum International Airport. The management is looking forward to maintaining the current passenger traffic growth rate at 4.3%, with developments including a new concourse to be inaugurated within the first half of 2015.
Travel experts have hinted the city of Dubai itself as a major contributing factor for boosting tourism and leisure travel to its airport. Being the 5th most visited city of the world in 2014 alone, Dubai has held a strong influence in sectors of international finance, real estate development, commerce, corporate establishment, international sports as well as luxury services. The city expects further progress in the coming years, with Al Makhtoum Airport to serve as a secondary hub for catering in massive passenger traffic for the coming years.