(MENAFN -Khaleej Times) Shaikh Ahmed said the phenomenal number of passengers handled by Dubai International Airport last year is yet another proof of 2013 being an exceptional year.
The number of passengers handled by Dubai International last year — over 66.4 million compared to 57 million in 2012 — is another proof that 2013 has been phenomenal. — Supplied photo
Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, or DCAA, and Chairman of Dubai Airports, has praised the support of local and international stakeholders for their contribution for making 2013 an exceptional year of unprecedented growth and achievement for the aviation industry in Dubai.
In his message in the February edition of Via Dubai, the monthly bilingual newsletter of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Shaikh Ahmed said: “By any measurement, 2013 was an exceptional year for the UAE due to the tremendous achievements the country has made in almost every economic domain in general and aviation sector in particular. This complements the amazing progress achieved by the UAE over the years and which are etched in our memories and reflects our passion to excel in every domain.”
Shaikh Ahmed, who is also Chairman of Emirates airline and Chief Executive of the Emirates Group, said the UAE stunned the world by bagging the rights, through a multi-tier selection process, to host World Expo 2020 in Dubai. The selection of the UAE to stage the world’s third-biggest global event after the Olympics and the Fifa World Cup is a testimony to the professional approach and adept planning worked out by all the parties concerned in a way that makes all of us proud, he added.
Also last year, the Dubai Airshow recorded the biggest deals in civil aviation history, exceeding 213.4 billion, stamping the emirate’s strong position as an aviation business hub. It was also last year that His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, unveiled the UAE Agenda, which showcases the country’s determination to become the best in the world in infrastructure in general and the aviation sector in particular.
Shaikh Ahmed said the phenomenal number of passengers handled by Dubai International Airport last year is yet another proof of 2013 being an exceptional year. Preliminary results show that the number of passengers surpassed 66.4 million compared with the 57 million recorded in 2012. Meanwhile, Dubai International’s expansion plans costing more than 7.8 billion are progressing swiftly to increase the airport’s capacity to more than 90 million passengers with the completion of Concourse D by 2015 along with the expansion and modernisation of Terminals 1 and 2. This is in addition to the opening of the passenger terminal of Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai World Central last year, which will be transformed into an international travel hub in the next few years.
He said: “We should pursue with passion and determination our biggest goal of Dubai becoming the No. 1 airport in the world, not only for international passengers, which it is expected to become by 2015, but also in terms of services and facilities for the passengers. I personally believe that this achievement will the biggest and will go a long way towards our gigantic ambition to have the world’s excellent infrastructure that will support the local and international aviation industry.”
Mohammed Ahli, director-general of the DCAA, said: “Dubai continues its amazing growth rate with more airlines and frequencies to and from different parts of the world. Dubai International Airport is moving forward towards becoming the world’s top airport for international passengers by 2015 after recording 66 million passengers in 2013.”
“Despite the phenomenal growth that it has been witnessing over the years, Dubai boasts of an excellent aviation safety track record and its stakeholders have been working towards maintaining the hard-earned excellence.”
He said one of the factors behind the Middle East’s success is adherence to global standards, according to the International Air Travel Association, or Iata.
The Middle East continues to be a great success story in the aviation industry; the Iata noted that about 40 billion are being invested in airport infrastructure in the Arabian Gulf alone by far-sighted governments, but still the region faces a capacity shortfall. The Arabian Gulf success story is well-grounded in the spirit of cooperation. In fact, the Arabian Gulf example is a best practice success story that the Iata is asking all governments to take note of.