Revealed: Top 10 busiest passenger airports in Middle East, 2015
According to data compiled by Airports Council International (ACI)
\nAirport: Bahrain International Airport (BAH)
\nCountry: Manama, Bahrain
\nPassengers in 2015: 8,586,645
\nBahrain International Airport (BAH), Manama, Bahrain Earlier this year Bahrain Airport Company signed an agreement for the soft refurbishment of its arrivals concourse and customs hall in Bahrain International Airport. The project, valued at BD1,271,269 (US$3,368,863) is expected to be completed this month. The airport last year handled 8,586,645 passengers, a year-on-year increase of six per cent, representing almost 400,000 additional people during 2015 on 2014 figures.
\nAirport: King Fahd International Airport (DMM)
\nCountry: Damman, Saudi Arabia
\nPassengers in 2015: 9,526,026
\nKing Fahd International Airport (DMM), Damman, KSA Under the General Authority of Civil Aviation’s (GACA) plans to allow foreign companies to invest in Saudi Arabian airports, Dammam’s King Fahd International Airport is expected to be corporatised during the third quarter of next year, 2017, before it is privatised. King Fahd International Airport facilitated the travel of 9,526,026 passengers in 2015, an increase of 17 per cent on 2014.
\nAirport: Sharjah International Airport (SHJ)
\nCountry: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
\nPassengers in 2015: 10,039,936
\nSharjah International Airport (SHJ), UAE Remaining in the same position as last year, Sharjah International Airport, handled just over 10 million passengers in 2015. The airport witnessed a growth of 5.5 per cent in passenger numbers on 2014, with 10,039,936 recorded in 2015, just over half a million additional to the previous year. Commenting on passenger numbers for 2015, Sharjah Airport Authority chairman HE Ali Salim Al Midfa said: “This result came to emphasise the airport’s position, and as a result of continued efforts of the airport under the directions of HH Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to develop the airports’ facilities, upgrade the services and providing the easiest procedures for passengers, to ensure they enjoy the pleased experiences while they are at the airport.”
\nAirport: Muscat International Airport (MCT)
\nCountry: Muscat, Oman
\nPassengers in 2015: 10,315,358
\nMuscat International Airport (MCT), Oman Oman Airports Management Company SAOC began operations of its fourth baggage and luggage belt, and the new extension in front of the departures area at Muscat International Airport in August last year as part of its development of airport facilities. Muscat International Airport handled 10,315,358 passengers during 2015, a year-on-year increase of 18.3 per cent, moving it up two places from ninth last year.
\nAirport: Kuwait International Airport (KWI)
\nPassengers in 2015: 11,269,029
\nKuwait International Airport (KWI), Kuwait The number of passengers at Kuwait International Airport surpassed 11 million for the first time last year, handling 11,269,029 passengers. The figures represent an increase of 8.6 per cent year-on-year compared to 2014. The airport is undergoing maintenance and expansion works to help meet growing demand, following continued delay, while a second terminal building is expected to be completed by the end of this year as part of the airport’s development plans.
\nAirport: King Khaled International Airport (RUH)
\nCountry: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
\nPassengers in 2015: 22,656,457
\nKing Khaled International Airport (RUH), Riyadh, KSA Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport handled 22,656,457 passengers in 2015, a year-on-year increase of 10.5 per cent. The airport’s new terminal building, T5, is expected to open later this year, replacing existing T3 to handle domestic flights. The terminal will be managed and operated by Dublin Airport Authority’s international subsidiary after being contracted for an initial period of five years for the new 106,500m2 terminal with a capacity of up to 12 million passengers annually.
\nAirport: Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)
\nCountry: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
\nPassengers in 2015: 23,293,022
\nAbu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), UAE Abu Dhabi Airports celebrates its 10th anniversary this year having been created in 2006 to spearhead the development of the Emirate’s aviation infrastructure, and assumed responsibility for the operation and management of Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) and Al Ain Airport (AAN). Abu Dhabi International Airport carried 23,293,022 passengers in 2015, representing a year-on-year increase of 17.3 per cent. The airport’s Midfield Terminal is still being constructed and is expected to open next year to serve as the new base of operations for Etihad Airways and its partners.
\nAirport: King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED)
\nCountry: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
\nPassengers in 2015: 29,010,429
\nKing Abdulaziz International Airport (JED), Jeddah, KSA According to the country’s GACA, work is still being carried out on the new airport project at King Abdulaziz International Airport, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. The new airport operation aims to help achieve a “qualitative leap for the transport sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, the aviation authority has said. In 2015, the Jeddah-located airport handled close to 30 million passengers, totalling 29,010,429. This represents a year-on-year increase of 7.7 per cent.
\nAirport: Hamad International Airport (DOH)
\nCountry: Doha, Qatar
\nPassengers in 2015: 31,008,549
\nHamad International Airport (DOH), Doha, Qatar Hamad International Airport overtook Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport last year, recording 31,008,549 passengers during 2015. This marks a 17.1 per cent increase on figures recorded in 2014. Aircraft movements in the third quarter of 2015 measured 55,186 movements, a 19 per cent increase in aircraft take-offs and landings at the airport, compared to 46,405 movements during the same period last year. Commenting on the airport’s figures following results for Q3, Hamad International Airport chief operating officer Engr Badr Mohammed Al Meer said: “We partially owe this phenomenal increase in our operations to the increased frequency of several of our patron airlines’ weekly flights from Hamad International Airport, and we have also had several new airlines commence operations.” He also attributed the increase to the growth of the country’s national carrier, Qatar Airways.
\nAirport: Dubai International Airport (DXB)
\nCountry: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
\nPassengers in 2015: 78,010,265
\nDubai International Airport (DXB), UAE Retaining its position as the busiest airport in the Middle East, Dubai International Airport recorded 78,010,265 passengers during 2015, a year-on-year increase of 10.7 per cent. The airport reported record monthly traffic for the start of this year, with passenger numbers reaching 7,327,637 in January 2016, up 6.3 per cent from 6,895,668 registered during the same month in 2015, according to the traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports. In terms of percentage growth, North America recorded the highest growth in passenger traffic (19.9 per cent) – led by Emirates with the addition of an Orlando route and increased services to Boston, New York and Seattle – followed by the GCC (11.6 per cent) where Saudi Arabia registered double-digit growth thanks to the surge in traffic from Jeddah, and the Indian Subcontinent (8.7 per cent) mainly propelled by traffic on routes to traditionally strong markets of India and Pakistan. Commenting on the figures already registered this year, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said: “The record passenger numbers in January confirm that the growth trend from last year has continued into 2016 and we are on course to meet our projection of 85 million passengers that we expect to pass through our airport this year. “Concourse D’s opening in February has increased DXB’s capacity to 90 million passengers a year, allowing us to continue to accommodate the rising number of people whilst boosting service levels. In the months ahead we will begin the complete refurbishment of Concourse C which will further improve passenger flows and the overall customer experience.”