Dubai’s major airport saw a 49 percent increase in passenger traffic to 41.6 million in the first half of the year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, according to operator Dubai Airports on Tuesday.
According to the operator, the second quarter fueled the rebound to just over 100 percent of traffic levels in the first half of 2019, jumping roughly 43 percent from the second quarter of 2022 to 20.3 million passengers.
Dubai, the Middle East’s tourism and economic powerhouse, was swift to reopen following the outbreak. This, along with an inflow of Russians and business professionals, as well as loosened social and visa norms, has fueled an economic resurgence that has seen property values and rents skyrocket.
Dubai Airports adjusted its forecast for 2023 to 85 million passengers from 83.6 million, “just 1.6 percent shy of DXB’s (Dubai International) annual traffic in 2019,” Chief Executive Paul Griffiths said in a statement.
“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.”
DXB’s annual passenger traffic last year was 66.1 million, Dubai Airports said in February.
The airport flew 201,800 flights in the first half, up 30.2 percent year-on-year. May was the second quarter’s busiest month, with 6.9 million passengers.