Passengers wait in line at the Dubai International Terminal 3. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News Archive

Dubai: If you’re catching an international flight or arriving in Dubai airport, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with more travellers than in any aircraft terminal on the planet.

Nearly 90 million people passed through Dubai International in 2017, up by 5.6 per cent from a year earlier, making it the world’s busiest hub for international travel for another year, according to the latest global rankings.

The figures, shared this month by Airports Council International, showed that Dubai continues to beat traffic of its competitors, including London Heathrow and Hong Kong International, ranked as the world’s second and third busiest, respectively.

Dubai airport had said in February that its 2017 traffic numbers were the highest in the world.  It  first took the crown as the world’s busiest in 2014, edging out London Heathrow.

In terms of growth, the Kuala Lumpur International saw the biggest jump in traffic, at 14.6 per cent, while Doha International witnessed the biggest slump at -5.3 per cent.

If the total domestic and international passenger traffic numbers are however, taken into account, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States would emerge as the world’s busiest, followed by Beijing Capital and Dubai International airports.

In terms of air cargo, Hong Kong bagged the top spot, as it handled more than five million metric tonnes of cargo in 2017.

ACI’s rankings are based on preliminary passenger numbers from 1,202 airports worldwide.

10 busiest airports in the world by international passenger traffic, according to ACI

1.Dubai International (UAE): 87.7 million passengers
2. Heathrow Airport (London, UK): 73.2 million
3. Hong Kong International: 72.5 million
4. Amsterdam Schiphol: 68.4 million
5. Aeroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (France): 63.7 million
6. Singapore Changi Airport: 61.6 million
7. Incheon International (South Korea): 61.5 million
8. Frankfurt International (Germany): 57.1 million
9. Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok, Thailand): 48.8 million
10.Taoyuan International (Taiwan): 44.5 million

World’s 10 busiest airports by total passenger traffic

1.Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (United States): 103.9 million
2.Beijing Capital International (China): 95.8 million
3. Dubai International (UAE): 88.2 million
4. Tokyo International (Japan): 85.4 million
5. Los Angeles International (US): 84.6 million
6. O’Hare International (Chicago, US): 79.8 million
7.Heathrow Airport (London, UK): 78 million
8. Hong Kong International Airport: 72.7 million
9. Pudong International Airport (Shanghai, China): 70 million
10.Aeroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (Paris, France): 69.5 million