Dubai International gets off to a record start in 2013

Dubai International Airport continues to grow at an unbelievable rate and bosses have confirmed the facility welcomed a record number of passengers last month.According to new figures released by Dubai Airports, 5,559,760 people passed through the complex in January 2013, which was a 14.6 per cent improvement on the corresponding month in 2012.A total of 31,332 aircraft travelled in and out of the airport over the four-week period - up by 5.6 per cent on January last year.Dubai is an increasingly attractive tourism destination and this was reflected in the statistics, although events such as the Dubai Shopping Festival no doubt helped to swell the numbers a bit.Saudi Arabia continued to be a huge market for Dubai International and the figures highlighted a 46.2 per cent increase in traffic from this part of the world.The demand for flights between the UAE and South America also continued to grow, with passenger numbers going up by 23.7 per cent year-on-year.It was a good month for the city's air freight industry too, as 188,520 tonnes of cargo was transported through Dubai, which was an 8.6 per cent rise on January 2012.Chief executive officer at the airport Paul Griffiths was understandably very satisfied with the monthly report."January's record passenger numbers confirm that the growth trajectory recorded last year has continued into 2013 and Dubai Airports has taken another steady stride towards the 98 million passengers a year we expect to pass through our airport by the end of the decade," he remarked.Mr Griffiths also hailed the successful opening of the new Concourse A, which has taken the airport's annual capacity up from 60 million to 75 million.Based on passenger statistics for the whole of 2012, Dubai International is now the third busiest airport on the planet and Mr Griffiths said last month that he now has the world's number one spot - currently held by London Heathrow - firmly in his sights.

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