Middle East & North Africa: Dubai surges ahead in race for hub dominance; Moroccan airports benefit from ‘open-skies’

Dubai extended its lead over its regional competitors in 2007 by adding over five and a half million passengers to its throughput. This took it to over 34 million, more than twice as many as any other airport in the Middle East.

Chart: Top 20 Middle East & North African Airports
Source: Airport websites, ATI, anna.aero estimates for Amman, Doha and Saudi Arabia

Most major airports in the region reported double-digit growth, while Sharjah (+41%), Abu Dhabi (+31%) and Sharm El-Sheikh (+27%) were the fastest growing in percentage terms. In volume terms Dubai (+5.5 million) grew three times faster than any other airport, with Cairo (+1.7 million) the next best. Egypt’s airports all performed well with Hurghada joining Cairo and Sharm El-Sheikh in reporting above average growth.

Morocco’s airports report 16% growth in 2007

Having decided to implement an ‘open-skies’ agreement with the EU, Moroccan airports witnessed the benefits in 2007. Growth in international passengers increased almost 20%, while domestic traffic was also up.

Airport Pax 2006 Pax 2007 Vly
Casablanca (CMN) 5,070,206 5,858,404 15.5%
Marrakech (RAK) 2,650,365 3,053,119 15.2%
Agadir (AGA) 1,433,909 1,497,396 4.4%
Tangier (TNG) 292,449 366,123 25.2%
Fez (FEZ) 228,343 334,027 46.3%
Oujda (OUD) 242,214 315,080 30.1%
Rabat (RBA) 204,301 249,998 22.4%
All airports 10,594,846 12,248,078 15.6%
Source: ONDA

Passenger numbers at the two main airports of Casablanca and Marrakech increased 15%. These two airports account for almost three-quarters of all Moroccan airport traffic. In the first four months of 2008 traffic at Morocco’s airports was up a more modest 9.3%.

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