Dubai visitor numbers set to double

Brig Bin Belailah … planning ahead

MORE than 40 million passengers will be using Dubai International Airport by the year 2014, more than double the current figure, making it one of the busiest air terminals in the world, according to a recent study.

The largest group among these passengers will be tourists, including incentive travellers and leisure tourists, signalling Dubai's firm position as a year-round leisure and shopping destination, the study by Madar Research said.
The growth will be fuelled by the completion of several record-breaking landmarks, including the world's tallest building, the largest man-made island, the biggest shopping mall, first underwater luxury hotel and one of the world's biggest recreation and theme parks, said the study. The study, published in the second volume of Madar Research Special on ‘Dubai Knowledge Economy 2003-2008’, says that the expansion of both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 would meet the expected rush by the year 2008. However, the pressure on airport personnel would be heavy.
“The quantum jump in the number of passengers at Dubai International Airport has provided enough indicators as to where Dubai is heading,” says Brigadier Saeed bin Belailah, director, DNRD. “It should not come as a surprise to anyone that the landmark commercial and residential projects initiated by Dubai will result in an increased inflow of visitors and residents. The challenge is to come up with solutions to live up to the expectations of the world. At DNRD, there is a constant endeavour to find solutions that will be effective now as well as in the future. Our strategy is driven by IT because future passenger handling systems should ideally be automated and unmanned. We have already initiated this process by implementing eGate, which provides entry and exit through an e-card to pre-registered passengers. We will intensify the campaign to attract more users for eGate in order to speed up the flow of passengers further,” added Brig Bin Belailah.