Dubai overtakes Hong Kong as world's third busiest airport

Dubai International Airport officially became the third busiest aviation hub on the planet in 2012.New figures have shown the Middle Eastern complex overtook Hong Kong International Airport in terms of the number of passengers it handled during the year.According to Dubai Airports, 57.68 million people passed through the Dubai facility throughout the 12-month period, which was a 13.2 per cent improvement on the previous year.This also exceeded the company's original prediction of 56.5 million passengers by more than one million.The airport's cause was helped by a surge in activity in December, when 5.3 million travellers entered the UAE via Dubai. This was only the second month in the airport's 52-year history that the five million mark has been surpassed."Moving into the top three is a fantastic achievement for Dubai International and we now have London's Heathrow and the number one spot firmly within our sights," commented chief executive officer of Dubai Airports Paul Griffiths.Dubai has quickly become one of the most desirable holiday hotspots in the world and it is also a major international hub for businesspeople.With so many world-class hotels, shops and restaurants opening in the city - not to mention the beautiful weather and gorgeous beaches - it is easy to see why the emirate is so popular.However, with Dubai International Airport nearing capacity last year, the need for more space is obvious."The opening of Concourse A, the world's first purpose-built A380 facility, has given us the room to maintain our strong growth into the new year, with a forecast of 65.4 million passengers in 2013," Mr Griffiths added.India continues to be an important market for Dubai's tourism industry, with 7.3 million people visiting the UAE from the Asian country in 2012.This was an increase of 7.4 per cent and the upturn was attributed to the introduction of the Spicejet airline, which added a number of new flights from Mumbai, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Delhi to Dubai.

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