Interview: Dubai airport hits record passenger traffic in 2023, plans to cater more to Chinese visitors: CEO

Updated: February 23, 2024 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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DUBAI, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Dubai International (DXB) airport announced on Monday a record-breaking passenger traffic figure for 2023 while planning to cater more to Chinese visitors passing through, Dubai Airports Chief Executive Officer Paul Griffiths told Xinhua.

As "the world's busiest airport for international passengers," Dubai International welcomed 87 million guests in 2023, with a year-on-year increase of 31.7 percent, the operator said.

"This was an amazing performance, signaling that we have fully recovered and led the world in the recovery of the aviation sector," Griffiths said, adding the passenger traffic figure was nearly one percent higher than the 86.4 million visits recorded in the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

"We do hope that the Chinese market will recover very strongly during 2024, and we're looking forward very much to welcoming Chinese travelers back to our airport," Griffiths stressed.

Griffiths highlighted that a lot of experiences and retail shopping options cater to Chinese travelers and visitors. Now Dubai International is connected to 14 destinations across China via five carriers, he added.

"Retail operations are geared to the type of products and services that Chinese visitors like to see. We've introduced special features that accommodate the things I know that Chinese guests look for when they're traveling, such as the provision of hot water," he said.

Griffiths noted that in ACI World's globally recognized Airport Service Quality program, the airport scored 4.44, the highest result achieved by the airport to date.

"This is a tremendous achievement. We've proved that we can be one of both the busiest international airports and also the best in the world," he said.

Initial forecasts indicate that in 2024, the airport is anticipated to receive 88.8 million guests.

Dubai International is currently connected to 262 destinations across 104 countries through 102 international carriers, according to Griffiths.

In terms of top country destinations, India claimed the top spot among destination countries with traffic totaling 11.9 million guests, followed by Saudi Arabia with 6.7 million guests and the United Kingdom with 5.9 million guests.

In 2023, the airport also handled cargo totaling 1,805,898 tons.

Dubai International was established as a commercial entity in April 2007, following an organizational restructuring of the erstwhile Dubai Department of Civil Aviation.

Griffiths has been the chief executive officer of Dubai Airports since 2007, with responsibility for the operation and development of Dubai International Airport as well as Dubai World Central Airport.

Editor: Gao Jingyan