Dubai International Airport Anticipates Q4 Surge, Plans Expansion Amid Global Recovery

Dubai's primary airport is anticipating a significant increase in Q4 traffic, partly due to a resurgence in passengers from China, according to the CEO of Dubai Airports. As the Gulf hub is on track to exceed pre-pandemic figures for the year, Dubai International (DXB) reported 22.9 million passengers in Q3, the highest quarterly traffic since 2019. The annual passenger traffic is projected to hit 86.8 million in 2023, up from the 85 million passengers forecasted in August. 


Paul Griffiths, speaking at the Dubai Air Show, expressed optimism about the recovery of the Chinese market, one of their largest in the Far East, in Q4. DXB, one of the world's busiest airports, saw a 39.3% increase in total passenger traffic for the first nine months of 2023 compared to the previous year, surpassing the same period in 2019 by 1%. 


Griffiths attributed the resurgence of demand to limited supply as many airlines downsized their fleets during the pandemic. He also mentioned that Dubai, the Middle East's tourism and trade hub, has benefited from its safe haven status and relaxed residency rules amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

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Despite the war in Gaza and a pessimistic economic outlook for 2024, Griffiths stated he hasn't observed any impact on passenger traffic in Dubai and remains confident about the robust demand. He also revealed that DXB has started construction on an expansion that would increase its total capacity to 120 million passengers by 2026, up from the current 100 million. Plans are also in progress for the expansion of Dubai's other airport, Al Maktoum International (DWC), although a timeframe was not provided. The project has experienced several delays.

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