By Massoud Derhally
A total of 16 million passengers passed through Dubai International Airport, registering a growth of 18% over 13.5 million passengers in 2001.
A total of 16 million passengers passed through Dubai International Airport, registering a growth of 18% over 13.5 million passengers in 2001. Cargo movement registered a 24% growth of with total freight movement of 784,996.93 tonnes in 2002 as compared to 632,23.52 tonnes in 2001. Although worldwide aircraft movement has registered negative growth due to the fact that more carriers are opting for wide-bodied aircraft, aircraft movement in Dubai grew by 11% with 148,334 movements compared to 134,165 movements in 2001. “Passenger movement, cargo movement, duty free sales have all surpassed the projections for the year and we are hoping the maintain this trend for the year 2003,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Department of Civil Aviation and chairman of Emirates Airlines. “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% while in 2001 despite global events and traffic declining all over the world, we had a growth of 10%. 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 around in 2002. Dubai Duty Free announced record annual sales of Dhs1.1 billion (US$306 million), representing a 23% increase over 2001. Year-end figures also revealed a new monthly sales record of Dhs107.7 million (US$30 million) which was achieved in December 2002 and surpasses the previous monthly record of Dhs102.6 million (US$28.5 million) which was set last October. 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% growth over 2001. Average passenger movement per day registered at 43,763. Arriving passengers registered a 21% growth while departing passengers registered a 19% growth in 2002. Transit passengers, however, registered a decline of 3%.