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Dubai cements ‘busiest international hub’ claim; regional challengers gaining in strength

Premium Analysis

Dubai International Airport has regained its title of the world’s busiest international airport, whether measured by seat capacity or passengers flown. But the pandemic has created numerous anomalies around the world, and at least two airports are emerging as challengers to Dubai's regional dominance.

Moreover, Dubai International has to adapt to the declining role of the A380, which has dominated its recent history, as smaller long haul aircraft types are introduced as replacements. The additional frequencies that will be required on many routes will place additional burdens on airport infrastructure.

And it should not be forgotten that there is another airport in Dubai. That airport is one that is a decade old now and was going to be the biggest in the world by just about any measure, but was handling just 1.6 million passengers in the year before the pandemic.

It is time Dubai Airports came clean on exactly what Dubai World Central can realistically achieve, and what its future direction will be.

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