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Dubai airport retains top international spot in 2017

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Dubai: Dubai airport was the world's busiest for international passengers in 2017 for the fourth year running, with 88.2 million travellers including 12.1 million Indians, a statement said today.

International traffic at the UAE airport increased by 4.6 million passengers or 5.5 percent compared to the previous year, operator Dubai Airports announced, despite a laptop ban temporarily imposed on its long-haul flights to the United States.

A major transit hub situated on transcontinental air routes, Dubai is one of several Gulf-based airports to have experienced prodigious growth in recent years.

Indians continued to dominate the top position with 12.1 million passengers arriving at Dubai airport last year, up 5.4 percent on 2016, the statement said. British passengers came in second place with 6.5 million, overtaking Saudis who came in third with 6.4 million passengers.

The biggest rise was in the number of Russian passengers who soared by 28 percent to 1.34 million, followed by Chinese travellers who increased by 19.4 percent to 2.2 million.

The surge came after UAE relaxed restrictions for both nations, offering citizens from those countries visas on arrival. The airport recorded 10,000 less flights than the previous year, but planes were filled closer to capacity, with an average of 223 per flight -- an increase of nearly seven per cent.

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