Here's how Dubai stacks up among world's busiest airports
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Here’s how Dubai stacks up among world’s busiest airports

Here’s how Dubai stacks up among world’s busiest airports

Dubai International Airport has ranked first in the world for international passenger numbers and second in the world for overall traveller figures

Gareth van Zyl
Dubai International heads airport connectivity for region finds ACI report Image Dubai Airports

Dubai International Airport (DXB) has retained its position as the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, according to a latest report published by the Airports Council International (ACI) this week.

ACI’s latest report on the world’s ten busiest airports shows that Dubai experienced a 32 per cent growth in passenger numbers between 2022 and 2023 to reach 87 million passengers. The world’s next busiest airports by international passengers in 2023 were London (75 million), Amsterdam (75 million), Paris (61 million), and Singapore (58 million). 

When it comes to both domestic and international passenger segments, Atlanta Airport in the US remains the world’s busiest. Here, Atlanta recorded almost 105 million passengers last year, while Dubai ranked second at 87 million. In 2022, Dubai ranked fifth in this overall category, meaning that it experienced a significant jump in 2023, overtaking the likes of Dallas Airport (82 million passengers in 2023). 

Data from ACI further highlighted that global aviation passengers numbers for 2023 reached 8.5 billion, marking an increase of 27.2 per cent from 2022. This still only represents a recovery of 93.8 per cent of global passenger traffic when compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

“Global air travel in 2023 was chiefly fuelled by the international segment, propelled by several factors. Among these were the anticipated benefits from China’s reopening and a growing inclination towards travel despite macroeconomic conditions,” said ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira. 

“While perennial leaders from the US continue to dominate the top 10 busiest airports for passengers, notably Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport retaining its number one position, there are notable shifts. Dubai International Airport jumped to second rank for the first time, while Tokyo Haneda International Airport witnessed a remarkable ascent from 16th position in 2022 to 5th in 2023. Additionally, the unwavering strength of Istanbul and New Delhi airports keep them in top ranks, marking significant progress over 2019.

“Notably, cargo continues to play a key role in world commerce despite the year-over-year decrease. Hong Kong International Airport has maintained the top position, followed by Memphis International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Doha International Airport rejoins the top 10, jumping to number 8 with a growth of 6.3 per cent over 2019,” added de Oliveira.



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