Dubai International Airport has reported a 13.2% surge in passenger traffic during 2012 to 57.6 million, up from 50.97 million recorded during 2011.
During December 2012, passenger numbers rose 13.4% to 5,320,961 compared to 4,690,726 recorded in December 2011; it is second month in the history of the airport where passenger traffic has broken 5 million.
Aircraft movements during the year increased 5.5% to 344,245 compared to 326,318 recorded in 2011.
Dubai International claims that the rise in passenger traffic during the year has turned the airport into the third largest in the world in terms of passenger handling, overtaking Hong Kong International.
Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said that after moving into the top three the airport now has the number one spot firmly within sights.
"The opening of Concourse A, the world's first purpose-built A380 facility, has given us the room to maintain our strong growth into the new year, with a forecast of 65.4 million passengers in 2013," Griffiths said.
In terms of regional growth, South America routes recorded highest growth grew 99.4% following introduction of Emirates flights to Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, which was followed by the Russia & CIS region growing at 36.9% and Australasia growing 21.9%, while GCC grew 19.4%.
Passenger traffic to India grew 7.4% during the year to 7.34 million over 2011, becoming the biggest country destination in terms of passenger numbers.
Freight volumes increased 3.9% during the year to 2,279,624t from 2,194,264t recorded in 2011, while during December cargo volume increased 6.5% year on year to 201,949t, compared to 189,593t recorded during 2011.
Image: The rise in passenger traffic during 2012 has made Dubai Airport the third largest in the world in terms of passenger handling, surpassing Hong Kong International Airport.