Dubai airport shows annual 18pc growth


The year 2002 was an exceptionally good year for Dubai International Airport. Forecast for the year 2002 - which stood at 15 million passenger movements - has been surpassed.

A total of 16 million passengers passed through the airport, registering a phenomenal growth of 18 per cent over the 13.5 million in 2001.

Cargo movement registered a 24 per cent growth with total freight movement of 784,996.93 tonnes in 2002, as compared to 632,230.52 tonnes in 2001.

However, aircraft movement has also shown growth of 11 per cent with 148,334 movements as compared to 134,165 movements in 2001. This is a notable fact since worldwide aircraft movement has registered negative growth due to the fact that more carriers are opting for wide-bodied aircraft.

Commenting on the annual statistics, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Department of Civil Aviation and chairman of Emirates, said: "We are proud to note that 2002 has been an exceptional year for Dubai International Airport. Passenger movement, cargo movement, duty free sales have all surpassed the projections for the year and we are hoping to maintain this trend for the year 2003. According to our projection we should handle 17 million passengers in 2003.

"The opening of Sheikh Rashid Terminal marked a new high in passenger movement. We have had consistent growth - the year 2000 had a phenomenal growth of 14.6 per cent while in 2001 despite global events and traffic declining all over the world, we had a growth of 10 per cent. This year with 18 per cent growth, which was beyond our expectations, we have set a new precedent. With the increased capacity and excellent facilities offered by Sheikh Rashid Terminal, we expect this growth to continue and hence have commenced our next phase of expansion."

Dubai International Airport enjoyed unexpected growth all-round in 2002. Executive Flight Services (EFS) handled a total of 2422 movements, which is an increase of 31 per cent over 2001. In December alone, EFS witnessed a growth of nearly 105 per cent.

Currently, the number of airlines operating out of Dubai International Airport stands at 104, serving 140 destinations.

Peak passenger movement was in August with 1.5 million passengers though the highest growth in a single month was in December with a 33.5 per cent growth over 2001. Average passenger movement per day registered at 43,763. Arriving passengers registered a 21 per cent growth while departing passengers registered a 19 per cent growth in 2002.

Transit passengers, however, registered a decline of three per cent.

It collected ten awards - World Travel Awards for World's Leading Airport and Best Airport Middle East; three of the Dubai Government Excellence Award for Distinguished Government Department, Distinguished Government Division and Distinguished Government Employee; Business Traveller Best Airport Middle East; IATA's Global Airport Monitor 2001 revealed Dubai International Airport as the Best in Overall Passenger Satisfaction; Conde Nast Traveller Runners Up Award for Best International Airport Worldwide; Air BP Award for Operational Excellence; and Routes Marketing Awards for Best Airport Marketing.