Featured, Travel

Dubai airport is now the world’s busiest, Atlanta airport saw more passengers though

Stunning turnaround for Dubai International Airport.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: The Dubai International Airport has now become the world’s leading international travel hub, serving as an important component of the increasingly frenzied global aviation circuit.

An aerial view of Dubai International Airport (courtesy of Wikipedia)
An aerial view of Dubai International Airport (courtesy of Wikipedia)

The news that Dubai is now the world’s busiest international airport is the culmination of many years’ worth of work to modernize and update the city, making it a destination for travelers rather than merely an uncomfortable stopping point. Just 10 years ago, Dubai was ranked 45th in terms of how busy its international airport is – now, it has overtaken popular international airports like JFK, LAX, and former top spot holder, London Heathrow.

Numbers coming from the Airports Council International, a trade representation group comprised of all the airports in the world, says that Dubai’s airport clocked 67.3 million passengers in the 12 months ending this past February. By comparison, Heathrow registered 66.9 million, and Hong Kong had 59.9 travelers go through its airport over the same year-long stretch.

However, Atlanta’s international airport still beats Dubai in terms of total passengers, having seen an astonishing 95 million flyers in the 12-month period ending in February 2014. But the report notes that Atlanta is also a crucial pit stop for domestic flights within the US, and therefore a large portion of that number is likely for US-only flights instead of international ones. By that yardstick, Dubai is likely still the victor, and if it isn’t, then it’s only in second place by a small margin.

Dubai’s rate of growth, however, means that it will probably overtake Atlanta in overall numbers within the new few years, anyway, the report states.

In addition to the luxurious terminals and the fact that Dubai has increasingly become a top-tier tourism attraction for people all over the world, the report credits the Emirates Airlines for being a key reason that Dubai has brought in so many passengers. Emirates has done a formidable job of marketing itself as an elite airliner that offers personal care and high-quality service, making it an attractive choice for flyers who are used to being herded into large metal tubes as if they’re cattle.

Because Emirates’ home base is Dubai International, passengers who fly with that airline end up passing through the metropolis aviation hub at some point, thus driving up the airport’s annual passenger tally. Dubai is also ideally situated almost exactly midway between Europe and South Asia, both of which receive huge numbers of travelers. People shuttling between the two geographic zones often stop off in Dubai, too, as the city is about an eight hour flight from each place.

Shops and restaurants, nearly all of which cater to high-end clientele, are also credited with being a reason why Dubai’s airport has become an increasingly favorable destination over European international hubs.

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