By Safura Rahimi
Passengers numbers at region's aviation hub reach record 25.4mn so far this year.
Dubai International Airport is set on a fast growth track as the number of passengers passing through its gates reached a record 25.4 million people between January and September.
The figure is an increase of over 19% from the same period last year when the airport handled 21.33 million passengers between January and September, according to figures from Dubai Civil Aviation (DCA).
Aircraft movements also hit nearly 192,000 so far this year, a 10% boost from 174,700 flights for the first nine months of 2006.
During the period under review, Dubai Cargo Village handled a total of 1,133,676 tonnes of cargo as compared to 1,020,581 tonnes in the first nine months of 2007, an increase of 11.08 per cent over the same period in 2006.
Dubai Cargo Village also saw an 11.08% increase in the total cargo moved, handling 1.13 tonnes of cargo between January and September, as compared to 1.02 million tonnes in the same period last year.
"Dubai International Airport has been growing at an average of 15% annually since 2000, and we expect the growth rate to pick up pace and climb further up over the coming years," HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, said in a statement.
Dubai International Airport is currently undergoing a 15 billion dirham ($4.1 billion) expansion, as part of a 300 billion dirham ($82 billion) investment in civil aviation and aerospace industry projects in the emirate.
The airport - the largest aviation hub in Mena - is set to open Terminal 3 and Concourse 2 by mid-2008.
The expansion is expected to triple its capacity to handle 75 million passengers annually by 2010.
Dubai is also set to bolster its position as the region's aviation hub with the arrival of a new international airport at the centre of the $33 billion Dubai World Central project in Jebel Ali.
Set to be the world's biggest airport, it will have six runways with the capacity to handle 120 million passengers and boast up to 16 cargo terminals capable of handling over 12 million tonnes annually.