Dubai International Airport Welcomed 87 Million Passengers in 2023, Marking a Remarkable Surge of 31.7% Compared to the Previous Year

Dubai International (DXB) finished 2023 with 87 million annual guests, exceeding both pre-pandemic and Dubai Airports’ yearly forecasts. This is after a year of extraordinary success and exceptional expansion. With this exceptional performance, DXB’s recovery path was successfully finished ahead of schedule, solidifying its position as the busiest airport in the world for international travel.

“DXB’s spectacular performance in 2023 is a resounding testament to the visionary leadership and determination of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to achieve growth and excellence across sectors, surmounting all challenges along the way,” stated H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.

This incredible performance demonstrates how Dubai has grown to be the world’s most popular travel destination and the significant role it plays in global trade and commerce. The unmatched connection, aviation capability, and logistical infrastructure that His Highness has progressively built over the years have made these advancements feasible.

With its exceptional standards and cutting-edge technologies that are continuously redefining airport services, Dubai is establishing new standards for the passenger experience. Dubai’s continued rapid growth as a global aviation center and the world’s preferred gateway for foreign passengers is in line with the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, which is to solidify Dubai’s position as one of the top three cities in the world for business and tourism over the next ten years. While we appreciate these successes, we’re also dedicated to strengthening Dubai’s status as the world’s foremost city.

His Highness expressed that to lead the global aviation expansion, Dubai Airports, guided by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, has executed strategic plans and invested significantly in infrastructure, technology, and customer experience.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, expressed his immense pride in the Dubai International team for their unwavering dedication and continuous pursuit of excellence, leading to the surpassing of numerous records in 2023. He highlighted this exceptional year as evidence of their steadfast commitment to innovation, efficiency, and providing outstanding guest experiences. Griffiths emphasized the achievement of DXB’s highest internal engagement scores, reflecting their dedication to fostering a collaborative culture where every employee’s contribution is valued and they are empowered to reach their full potential. He extended gratitude to the dedicated team and collaborative partners whose efforts were pivotal in reaching these milestones.

Looking forward, Griffiths reiterated their commitment to enhancing the airport experience for all guests by initiating a significant project to expand and revamp facilities at DXB, reinforcing the infrastructure for future growth. He emphasized DXB’s continued status as a global leader, setting the benchmark for exceptional guest experiences and international aviation excellence.

Traffic figures

In 2023, DXB witnessed a significant surge in visitors, totaling 86,994,365 overall, marking a remarkable 31.7% increase compared to the previous year. Notably, the airport welcomed 45.4 million visitors in the latter half of the year, contributing to figures almost 1% higher than those of 2019, which stood at 86.4 million.

December emerged as the busiest month of the fourth quarter, with 7.8 million visitors. Throughout Q4, a total of 22.4 million individuals passed through the airport, reflecting a 13.8% increase from the corresponding period in the previous year. Q3 maintained its status as the most trafficked quarter since 2019, with 23 million visitors, while August recorded the highest traffic of any month, with 7.9 million guests.

As of the latest data available for 2023, DXB is serviced by 102 international carriers, facilitating connections to 262 destinations across 104 countries.

Operational proficiency and customer satisfaction

In 2023, DXB managed a remarkable 77.5 million bags, marking the highest volume ever processed in a single calendar year. Despite experiencing a 24.6% year-over-year increase in baggage volume, the airport maintained its outstanding success rate of 99.8%, with only 2.4 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers.

At departure passport control, more than 95% of guests experienced wait times of less than seven minutes, while 97.5% of guests spent less than four minutes on average at security checks.

DXB’s commitment to enhancing business performance, guest satisfaction, and airport service quality is evident in its achievement of a score of 4.5 in ACI World’s esteemed Airport Service Quality (ASQ) program, the highest rating the airport has ever received.

Primary destination countries

India led the list of destination nations with 11.9 million visitors, followed by Saudi Arabia with 6.7 million visitors, and the United Kingdom with 5.9 million visitors. Significant country markets included Germany (2.5 million), Russia (2.5 million), the US (3.6 million), and Pakistan (4.2 million).

Top Destinations

In 2023, London retained its crown as the premier destination with 3.7 million visitors, trailed by Riyadh (2.6 million) and Mumbai (2.5 million).

Cargo Operations

DXB handled 1,805,898 tonnes of cargo in 2023, experiencing a 4.5% decline from the previous year. However, there was a notable 20.4% surge in cargo volumes to 506,018 tonnes in the fourth quarter alone.

Flight Movements

The year 2023 marked a historic high for DXB in flight movements, hitting 416,405—a remarkable 21.3% increase from the previous year.

Future Prospects

estimates anticipate DXB welcoming 88.8 million visitors in 2024, edging close to its record of 89.1 million set in 2018.

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