Dubai Airport
DXB recorded a total of 99,392 flight movements during the first-half, a marginal year on year increase of 0.9 per cent. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Airports is expecting ‘robust’ growth for Dubai International (DXB) in the second half of the year after the airport clocked 10.6 million passengers in the first six months of 2021.

In anticipation of the robust recovery of global air travel, we started the second half on a high note by re-opening Terminal 1 and Concourse D – the home terminal for our 60 international carriers, after 15 months of hibernation to accommodate the seasonal rush of travellers over the summer holidays

- Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports

“This was essential to facilitate the continued expansion of the route networks of our home base carriers Emirates and flydubai, whose joint network currently spanning 168 destinations continues to grow,” said Griffiths.

Busy weekends

“We have already witnessed some of our busiest weekends of the year in July, and with major international events such as the Dubai Expo 2020 and Dubai Airshow 2021 lined up for the months ahead, the outlook for 2021 in terms of passenger numbers looks very promising,” said Griffiths.

Top destinations

India continued to be DXB’s top destination country by traffic volume in the first-half with passenger numbers exceeding 1.9 million. Pakistan was second with 700,074 customers, followed by Russia (406,209) and Egypt (401,361).

Other destination countries of note included Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the US. The top three cities by traffic were Addis Ababa (354,804), followed by Cairo (345,886) and Moscow (344,175).

Griffiths said that the UK’s recent decision to move the UAE to the ‘Amber list’ and the UAE’s easing of travel curbs on passengers arriving from four countries in the Indian subcontinent as well as Nigeria and Uganda “will significantly boost DXB’s international traffic while enabling social and economic recovery.”

Passenger numbers

DXB’s passenger volumes in the second quarter totaled 4.9 million, taking the half-yearly figure for the year to 10.6 million, a year on year contraction of 40.9 per cent. DXB is currently serving 68 per cent of the destinations in 94 per cent of the countries on 70 per cent of the airlines compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cargo boost

Cargo continued to outshine the passenger segment in terms of recovery with cargo volumes nearing 2019 levels in the second quarter. DXB recorded 571,568 tonnes of freight in the second quarter, propelling the first-half volumes to 1.1 million tonnes, a year on year increase of 27.7 per cent.


DXB recorded a total of 99,392 flight movements during the first-half, a marginal year on year increase of 0.9 per cent due to the impact of the partial suspension of operations from March 25 to July 7 in 2020.