Even during Covid, Dubai airport remains busiest in world

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Dubai International Airport remained the busiest in the world in 2021 with 29 million passengers passing through its terminals.

Tourism officials were quick to point out that the passenger figures indicate an ongoing recovery in the travel sector following the 2020 Covid shut down of the industry.

However, officials were quick to point out that the recovery has a long way to go, since 86 million passengers traveled through Dubai International Airport in 2019.

Boosting tourism figures in Dubai is the ongoing World’s Fair, which has seen millions of visitors in attendance.

Meanwhile, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said he expects 57 million travelers to come through the airport in 2022. Still, he said, it will take until 2024 to record a full recovery to pre-pandemic figures.

"Dubai has done such a good job in reassuring travelers. It’s a safe city to visit and to come and holiday and do business. So I think the the actual trends to recovery are very encouraging, indeed," Griffiths said, according to the Associated Press.

2021 was the eighth consecutive year that Dubai International Airport was the world’s busiest for international travel, surpassing London’s Heathrow for global travelers.

The largest number of passengers coming to Dubai in 2021 arrived from India, with 4.2 million travelers, followed by Pakistan, with 1.8 million travelers.

Also, with more than 100,000 British citizens living in the UAE, Dubai International Airport reported 1.2 million passengers from the U.K. departing and arriving in 2021.

"What we’re now trying to do is campaign globally for the relaxation of travel restrictions and testing," Griffiths said. "But we now see the requirement for that is receding. We just need to get governments to recognize that fact and act quickly to remove the remaining travel restrictions."