Dubai International airport has recorded its busiest first half in its history with 24.6 million passengers passing through the airport.

In the first six months of 2010, 22.6 million passengers passed through, 8.9 per cent less than 2011.

In June, Dubai airport handled just over four million passengers, a 10.4 per cent rise on the 3.7 million that passed through the airport in June 2010.

The average monthly passenger traffic in the first six months of the year is 4.09 million, with the daily rate at 135,700 people.

Aircraft movements in the first half totalled 159,372, with June alone seeing 26,101 movements. Cargo volumes reached more than one million tonnes in the first half of the year.

The top five destinations served by Dubai airport in terms of passenger traffic, include India, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran. The fastest growing markets for passenger traffic to Dubai airport are eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS countries, North America and Asia Pacific.

“As the numbers clearly suggest, robust passenger traffic growth continues despite high fuel prices and growing economic uncertainty in Europe and the US,” says Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports. “This is being driven by the addition of new routes and frequencies, more wide-bodied aircraft as well as by the attractiveness of Dubai as a business and tourist destination and an efficient transit point.”

Griffiths also says that the $7.8bn expansion of Dubai International is on track to accommodate the expected 7.2 per cent growth in passenger traffic over the next decade (MEED 6:7:11).