By Elsa Baxter
Airport records total of 40.9 million passengers in 2009, one of world's fastest growing.
Dubai International Airport announced on Wednesday passenger number growth of 9.2 percent in 2009.
The airport recorded a total of 40.9 million passengers last year, cementing its position as one of the world’s fastest growing airports for international passengers in 2009, officials said in a statement.
The only airports other than Dubai to report increases are Istanbul, with 6.3 percent, Kuala Lumpur, with 4.6 percent and Cairo with 1.5 percent growth, according to figures from the Airports Council International.
Dubai airport handled a total of 3,816,360 passengers in December, compared to 3,333,424 passengers during the same month the previous year – an increase of 14.5 percent.
This was the seveth consecutive double digit monthly increase in passenger traffic seen by the airport, the statement said.
The full year passenger throughput reached 40,901,752 passengers for 2009, compared to 37,441,440 passengers recorded in 2008.
"Dubai Airports is setting the pace globally. Dubai International's performance as one of the world's fastest growing airports in 2009 is particularly impressive considering the traffic contraction seen globally," said Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman of Dubai Airports and chief executive of Emirates Airline.
Cargo volumes were up also up 5.6 percent in 2009, following a 26 percent jump in December volumes, the statement said.
The full year cargo traffic reached 1,927,520 tonnes in 2009, compared to 1,824,991 tonnes during 2008.
Cargo growth was mainly driven by major international conventions and events, a gradual improvement in the global economy and expansion by the airport's largest cargo carrier Emirates Airline, the statement said.
The airport is predicted to see continued growth this year with a forecast of 13.6 percent growth to 46 million passengers, the firm said.
“Dubai International has capacity for 60 million passengers per year, and that will increase to 75 million passengers when Concourse 3 is completed in 2012," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.