Dubai Airport passenger numbers higher than at same point in 2019

Dubai international Airport
Markus Mainka /

In a significant sign that airport passenger numbers are returning to levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic, Dubai International Airport (DXB), has confirmed it welcomed 41.6 million guests in the first six months of 2023.  

This figure exceeds the number of people that used the airport in the first half of 2019.  

According to the airport it registered a “robust performance” throughout the second quarter, during which passenger traffic surged by 42.7% year on year to reach 20.3 million.   

May 2023 was the busiest month during Q2 with 6.9 million guests and H1 2023 was up 49.1% compared to 27.9 million recorded in H1 2022.   

“It’s been a rewarding first half for Dubai International and amidst increasing guest numbers, we take great pride in knowing we are continuously delivering with operational excellence and providing an exemplary guest experience […] As we recover with our H1 traffic surpassing pre-pandemic levels, we continue to remain committed to ensuring every guest who travels through our airport leaves with a smile,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports

India continues to lead as DXB’s top destination country in terms of traffic with 6 million guests in the first half, followed by Saudi Arabia with 3.1 million guests, and the United Kingdom with 2.8 million guests.  

Other leading destinations include Pakistan (2 million guests), the US (1.8 million guests), Russia (1.3 million guests) and Germany (1.2 million guests). 

DXB is connected to 257 destinations across 104 countries, through more than 91 international airlines.   

“We started the second half with strong demand in July, and with the ongoing seasonal peak coinciding with the reopening of schools in August, we’re preparing for an exceptionally busy rest of the year. We’ve readjusted our forecast for the year from 83.6m guests to 85m, just 1.6% shy of DXB’s annual traffic in 2019,” added Griffiths.   

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