Dubai traffic surpasses pre-pandemic levels

Dubai Airport terminal at night.
Photo Credit: DXB Media

Traffic at Dubai International Airport (DXB) surpassed pre-pandemic levels for H1 2023. Announcing a significant milestone in it’s recovery, DXB welcomed 41.6M guests, a 100% increase over the same period in 2019.

Building on this registered a robust performance throughout Q2 to give 42.7% year on year growth. May proved itself to be the busiest with 6.9M guests. Compared to H1 2022 the 41.6M figure offers an impressive 49.1% passenger increase.

From the Board


Talking about the progress Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai airports said: “It’s been a rewarding first half for Dubai International and amidst increasing guest numbers. We take great pride in knowing we are continuously delivering with operational excellence and providing an exemplary guest experience.”

“Our dedicated team go above and beyond to create a personalised and seamless experience for every guest.”

“Recent stories of our team delivering a unique guest experience at DXB include communicating with a guest with a hidden disability using a translator tool, working with our stakeholders to locate a lost passport minutes before the guest’s flight was due to depart.”

“Helping a guest recover his lost wallet from his hotel after he cleared immigration and even reuniting a little boy in the U.K with his beloved stuffed bunny after he had been left behind at DXB.”

“As we recover with our H1 traffic surpassing pre-pandemic levels, we continue to remain committed to ensuring every guest who travels through our airport leaves with a smile,” he concluded.

Baggage handling


Customer experience continues to be a key theme for the team at DXB. Significant investment has, over the past few years, gone into areas like baggage handling.

As traffic surpassed pre-pandemic levels the baggage volume increased by 7%. So far this year DXB has handled approximately 37.2 Million bags and 92% of all baggage reported as delivered to customers within 45 minutes.

Accessibility accolades


Airports Council International awarded DXB several accolades in the period for it’s ongoing efforts in airport guest experience for both physical and hidden disabilities.

DXB Receives accessibility accolade
DXB Receives accessibility accolade – Photo Credit: DXB Media

Additionally the hub has been receiving several awards from the ACI over the past few years, showing its commitment to improvement. It was only a few years ago they received the Airport Health Accreditation programme certification.

Cargo Matters


Cargo has been no stranger to the surge in demand either, with an increase in volume in freight too. In the second quarter a 16.1% year on year increase meant 453,500 tonnes handled.

This brought the volume for the first half of 2023 to 853,500 tonnes. Although the strong second quarter has buoyed things somewhat, the figure for the overall first half is still down by 6.2% on the previous year.

Looking Forward


Furthermore, the remainder of 2023 looks like traffic will be surpassing the pre-pandemic levels and continue the trend. There are some very optimistic voices can be found amongst DXB’s board.

Record breaking numbers are expected, even if not guaranteed. Confirmed here by Paul Griffiths: “We started the second half with strong demand in. With the ongoing seasonal peak coinciding with the reopening of schools in August, we’re preparing for an exceptionally busy rest of the year.”

“We’ve readjusted our forecast for the year from 83.6m guests to 85m, just 1.6% shy of DXB’s annual traffic in 2019,”

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