Dubai Airports Recover From Deadly Flood as Passengers Hit 91 Million in 2024

By Thea Felicity

May 21, 2024 01:49 PM EDT

A picture shows the terminal 3 at Dubai international Airport, in the Gulf emirate of Dubai, on August 16, 2022.
(Photo : GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Dubai Airports is anticipating a record surge in passenger traffic this year, with projections to exceed 100 million travelers by 2027, said CEO Paul Griffiths to CNBC. 

The airport operator, benefiting from a strong post-pandemic recovery, reported its busiest quarter in history. It handled over 23 million passengers in the first quarter of this year, a rise of 8.4% compared to the same period last year.

Griffiths attributed the increase to several factors, including a shortage of aircraft capacity, Dubai's promotion as a safe travel destination, and residual demand from the pandemic era. 

These elements are expected to drive passenger numbers to 91 million by the end of 2024.

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Dubai Airports Passenger Traffic

Dubai Airports manages both Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC). The rise in traffic has been boosted by expanded destination offerings from Emirates, the flagship carrier, and its low-cost counterpart, Flydubai. 

However, these destination offerings were halted following extreme rainfalls that led to heavy flooding in the United Arab Emirates, which caused major delays to Dubai International Airport flights for several days. 

Per VCPost, the extreme weather was behind the cancellation of 1,244 flights and the diversion of 41 others, creating severe traffic congestion and significant operational disruptions.

In response to the flooding, UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered a comprehensive review of the country's infrastructure and measures to assist affected families. 

In April, the Dubai government approved a 128 billion dirham ($35 billion) plan to construct a new passenger terminal at Al Maktoum International, which, upon completion, will become the world's largest airport.

In response, Griffiths emphasized ongoing investments in cutting-edge technology to improve preparedness, improve passenger flow, and increase capacity. 

READ MORE: Dubai Struggles to Bounce Back After United Arab Emirates Floods Delayed Airport Flight Schedules

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