Dubai airports receive 17.9 million passengers in 2020 - GDRFA
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Dubai airports receive 17.9 million passengers in 2020 – GDRFA

Dubai airports receive 17.9 million passengers in 2020 – GDRFA

Dubai witnessed an increase in passenger numbers since the emirate reopened to international tourists in July

Dubai airport

The number of passengers travelling through Dubai airports in 2020 reached 17.9 million, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) has confirmed.

The figure is down 64 per cent from 50.4 million in 2019, according to previous GDRFA data, reported Bloomberg.

Although passenger traffic fell drastically due to travel restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 crisis, airports in Dubai witnessed an increase in passenger numbers since the emirate reopened to international tourists in July, Major general Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, director general of GDRFA Dubai said.

A rise in the number of travellers during the New Year holidays “reflects the increased confidence in the precautionary and preventive measures” taken by the UAE to address the repercussions of the virus following the detection of the new strain, Al Marri added.

The numbers reveal the ‘readiness of Dubai to receive travellers from around the world and its success in achieving positive growth levels while providing the best global health and safety standards’, official news agency WAM quoted him as saying.

The GDRFA also said that usage of smart gates soared last year.

“The reopening of the smart gates at Dubai International Airport for passengers departing from Terminal 3 was an important step, especially at this time, as these gates are characterised by quick travel procedures, avoiding queues and direct communication with passport control officers, which makes it the safest way for travellers to ensure the highest levels of health and safety for all,” Al Marri said.

In a report last week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that passenger demand for airlines in the Middle Easter plummeted 86 per cent in November year-on-year, although it was a slight improvement from an 86.9 per cent demand drop in October.

“The recovery in air travel has stalled amidst elevated Covid-19 cases and re-introduction of travel restrictions in some regions,” the report stated.

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