DXB’s ‘number one’ title adds to Dubai glory - GulfToday

DXB’s ‘number one’ title adds to Dubai glory

Dubair International Airport

The annual traffic for 2019 reached 86.4 million – 6 million more than the nearest rival London Heathrow,

Strategic tourism initiatives and endless attractions have placed Dubai among the world’s top destinations. With an intense fondness for the Number 1 slot, the city of superlatives has consistently refused to rest on its laurels.

Dubai International, DXB, retaining its position as the world’s number one hub for international passengers for the sixth consecutive year adds another major reason for the emirate to feel on top of the world.  

The annual traffic for 2019 reached 86.4 million – 6 million more than the nearest rival London Heathrow, highlighting the popularity of the City of Gold.

The year 2019 was also exceptional for DXB in terms of customer service with shorter wait times, record-breaking baggage performance and new retail and food and beverage offerings.

DXB welcomed a total of 86,396,757 for the full year of 2019 (-3.1 per cent) as numbers were affected by a series of challenges throughout the year, including the 45-day closure of the airport’s southern runway to enable its refurbishment, global market conditions, as well as the worldwide grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

During the fourth quarter of 2019, DXB welcomed 21.9 million customers (1.3 per cent), taking the average monthly passenger numbers at the hub to 7.2 million for the year.

Interestingly, the airport also breached the 8-million customer mark twice during the year (July and August).

As Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, points out, “While customer numbers in 2019 were lower than the preceding year, the impact of the 45-day closure of the runway, the bankruptcy of Jet Airways, as well as the grounding of the Boeing’s 737 Max accounted for an estimated 3.2 million passengers over the course of the year, and indicate underlying growth at DXB.”

The UAE hosts as many as 200 nationalities and offers a flawless model for unity in diversity. Visitors arrive from different parts of the globe. Owing to proximity in terms of distance as well as historically-close relations, India continued to hold to its position as DXB’s top destination country by passenger numbers, with traffic for 2019 reaching 11.9 million.

This was followed by Saudi Arabia with 6.3 million customers, and the United Kingdom finishing a close third with 6.2 million customers.

Smart initiatives have made a huge difference. Wait times were reduced by 15 per cent in 2019, thanks to DXB’s advanced operations centre which uses real time information from more than 50 systems across the facility to enhance efficiency and service, as well as the new smart gates that help speed customers through passport control.

As many as 73.1 million bags passed through the airport’s 175 km long baggage system during 2019 with a record delivery success rate of 99.96 per cent.

DXB also handled 659,167 tonnes of cargo in the fourth quarter with the annual airfreight volume reaching 2,514,918 tonnes during 2019.

Dubai’s charisma is well known. It has been named one of the world’s top 10 cities for travellers to visit in 2020 by global travel authority, Lonely Planet, which announced its “Best in Travel 2020” list last October.

Major publications and news outlets such as CNN, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel & Leisure, Afar, Forbes and others have also acknowledged Dubai’s attractiveness as a tourist hotspot.

The development of Dubai into a global centre for trade, tourism and commerce enabled by world-leading aviation sector and top-flight airport infrastructure means that the Emirate has become a never-miss destination for world travellers.

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