Growth in passenger traffic through Dubai International Airport, one of the world’s busiest, slowed in November because of the geopolitical and economic instability hitting Russia, the airport’s operator said on Tuesday.
Dubai is a popular tourist destination for Russians and a convenient place for them to park some of their savings abroad. Western economic sanctions against Moscow since the pro-Russian uprising in Ukraine, and the slide of the Russian rouble, appear to have reduced Russian visitors in recent months.
Passenger traffic related to Russia and other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States plunged 18.2 per cent from a year earlier in November, Dubai Airports said.
This cut growth in total passenger traffic through Dubai International, which rose 4.3 per cent to 5.57 million people in November, slowing from 5.7 per cent growth in October.
In the first 11 months of this year, passenger traffic climbed 5.9 per cent to 63.98 million people. Growth was interrupted earlier this year by an 80-day runway refurbishment project that temporarily cut the airport’s capacity.
Cargo volume through Dubai International dropped eight per cent from a year earlier in November to 205,375 tonnes, while cargo handled in the first 11 months shrank 2.7 per cent to 2.16 million tonnes because of the shift of dedicated freighter services to Dubai’s other main airport, Al Maktoum International, in May.