Dubai extends lead over regional rivals

Image: Competition at Dubai Airport
Dubai’s dominance: The holiday really does begin at this airport (rather than a transfer to another).

The gradual emergence of Dubai as a destination in its own right and not just as a major connecting hub has seen the Emirate extend its lead over other airports in the region. Only Sharjah (+37%), Muscat (+27%) and Bahrain (+20%) exceeded Dubai’s 16% rate of growth in 2006.

Chart: Top 20 Middle East Airports
Source: ATI

Growth among the Top 20 airports averaged just under 8% in 2006. Regional growth has remained buoyant during the first quarter of 2007 with Arab airport traffic up 9.3% on movement growth of 4.6%. Member airlines of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO) reported passenger traffic up 11% in the first quarter with average load factors up 2.3 percentage points to 74.4%.


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