Dubai International airport handled more than 50 million passengers in 2011, an 8 per cent increase over the previous year, when 47.2 million passengers passed through it, although cargo volumes fell.

Traffic in December alone stood at 4.69 million, a 10.2 per cent rise on the same month in 2010. In December, the number of aircraft movements stood at 29,519, which was a 7.7 per cent increase on the same month the year before. The total number of aircraft movements for 2011 was 326,317, a 6.2 per cent rise on 2010.

Air freight volumes in December increased 0.8 per cent to 189,593 tonnes, but total cargo volumes for the full year 2011 fell by 1.5 per cent, to 2.19 million tonnes.

The strongest markets in terms of total passenger numbers included India, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar, Germany and the US. Passenger traffic is set to increase further as Dubai airport expands. Concourse 3 at Dubai airport will be the world’s largest dedicated A380 facility when it is complete at the end of 2012.