More than 20 million passengers are expected to pass through Dubai International Airport this year, a top official said.
As the world focuses on Dubai as a leisure and business destination, the airport continued with double-digit growth last year.
A total of 18.06 million passengers passed through the airport, registering a growth of 13 per cent over the 15.9 million in 2002.
“The continuous growth at Dubai International Airport verifies the fact that Dubai is now the business and leisure destination of the region,” said Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Department of Civil Aviation and chairman of Emirates.
Cargo movement registered a 21.5 per cent growth of with total freight movement of 939,966 tonnes last year as compared to 784,996.93 tonnes in 2002.
Aircraft movement has also shown growth of 12.5 per cent with 168,511 movements as compared to 149,844 movements in 2002.
On December 2, the air traffic control (ATC) registered its 200,000th approach movement in 2003, setting a new record.
On December 10, the ATC recorded the highest daily movement of 602.
Dubai International Hotel continued its upward growth with occupancy rate registering at 107 per cent for the year.
Highest occupancy rate was during December (122 per cent) followed by September (119 per cent).
Shaikh Ahmed said: “Over the years the Department of Civil Aviation has continuously stressed on maintaining a very high standard for all the services and facilities provided and this has paid off. We have been voted the Best in the World thrice last year. “Once by the travel industry (World Travel Awards) and twice by passengers (IATA survey and Conde Nast Traveller).
We have continuously attracted new airlines and can truly be regarded as a hub with 105 airlines and 145 destinations.
“The Department of Civil Aviation has witnessed very notable growth in all areas of its operations.
“While passenger movement is up 13 per cent, cargo has grown a phenomenal 21 per cent growth and Dubai Duty Free has registered a record increase of 24 per cent in sales.
“It is our aim to continue and further improve our efforts in the coming years. We expect the growth to continue in 2004.”
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