Dubai World Central (DWC) in the UAE served more than 1.6 million annual passengers last year, registering year-on-year (YoY) growth of 81.5% compared to 2018.

The operator, Dubai Airports, attributed the increase to the relocation of operations by international carriers in April and May due to the 45-day southern runway closure of Dubai International Airport.

Major regions that contributed to the growth in passenger numbers were the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), South Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

With 549,806 customers, Russia was the top country, while Saudi Arabia and India were the second and third highest destinations, with 201,138 and 193,900 passengers respectively.

The airport saw 36,949 flight movements, which was an increase of 23.3%. However, the total cargo volume handled was 911,571t, which is a decrease of 7.7% compared to the previous year.

Six passenger airlines operate from DWC, with an average of 30 flights each week and 45 international destinations.

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In addition, 17 freight companies operated from the airport to around 45 cities worldwide.

The major airport in the Emirate, Dubai International Airport (DXB), served 86.4 million passengers last year, which is six million more than London Heathrow Airport.

However, this marked a decrease of 3.1% in passenger numbers due to the runway closure, global market conditions and Boeing 737 Max aircraft grounding.

India was the top destination country for passengers from DXB last year, with 11.9 million customers.

Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom followed, with 6.3 million customers and 6.2 million customers respectively.

Last month, Dubai Airports installed LED lights at Dubai International Airport’s apron and aircraft parking areas.