Dubai International Airport, one of the world’s busiest hubs, said it has increased passenger numbers by more than 30% to beat its pre-Covid record. 

DXB processed 86.99 million passengers in 2023, the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic passenger numbers have grown above the 2019 figure of 86.4 million. 

The increase over the full year was 31.7% compared to 2022. The airport said it benefitted from a “robust” H2 when it recorded 45.4 million passengers. Q3 was the hub’s busiest with 23 million people passing through its halls. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly the airport also beat its record of baggage handled during a calendar year, with 77.5 million bags traversing its handling operations. 

But unlike passenger operations, DXB’s cargo haul fell by nearly 5% in 2023. However, it still processed 1.8m tonnes of cargo. The picture is not entirely straightforward, because global shipping stresses led to a 20% year-on-year growth in its fourth quarter cargo volume. 

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports (which owns both DXB and DWC) said: “I am incredibly proud of everyone at Dubai International, for their dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence, which has propelled us to break many of our own records. 

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“2023 was an exceptional year and is a testament to our unwavering commitment to operational excellence, efficiency, innovation and delivering exemplary guest experience. This translated to DXB achieving its highest internal engagement scores – a reflection of our commitment to fostering a collaborative culture, where every contribution is valued and every employee is empowered to their full potential,” he added.