Global traffic at the UAE airport increased by 4.6 million passengers or 5.5 percent compared to the previous year, operator Dubai Airports announced, despite a laptop ban temporarily imposed on its long-haul flights to the United States. It would accommodate as many as 100 million passengers annually, with the existing and new airports likely sharing 170 million travelers a year by 2025, according to official estimates.
India was by far the largest country market for the airport with a 13.7 percent share of passenger numbers, or 12,060,435.
The most popular destination/origin city was London with 4,011,598 passengers, followed by Mumbai on 2,477,771 and Jeddah with 2,113,820 passengers.
Second was the United Kingdom with 6,466,404 passengers, just beating out Saudi Arabia with 6,364,598 on routes. The surge follows the relaxation of visa regulations by the UAE, which now offers visa on arrival for both Russian and Chinese visitors.
Meanwhile, Thailand grew its passenger numbers to the Middle East hub by 15.2% to 2,445,053 due to increased capacity on the route through Emirates' switch to two-class A380 services. The airport is home to the long-haul carrier Emirates.
DXB witnessed some fluctuation in cargo volumes during the year but thanks to the bumper growth in March (8.4%), August (11.8%*) and September (5.8%), 2017 freight volumes reached a record 2,654,494 tonnes, up 2.4% compared to 2,592,454 recorded during 2016.
"We made passenger journeys through the facility smoother by reducing waiting times - by deploying cutting edge technology to track and manage queues in real time, as well as by enabling the use of Emirates ID at smart gates for UAE residents".
And it's catching up with the world's busiest airport overall...
While Dubai is the busiest for global passengers, Atlanta is still the busiest airport in the world with 103.9 million passengers.
Passenger traffic expects to reach 90.3m this year, as Dubai Airports turns its attentions to lifting the hub's annual capacity to 118m via new technology and process improvements.