RIYADH: Dubai Airports, which owns and manages the operation of both Dubai International and Dubai World Central airports, has revised its 2023 forecast upward to 83.6 million passengers, bringing it within “striking distance” of its 2019 annual traffic, said its CEO.
“With important developments in the international travel sector such as the further easing of travel protocols in China and the upcoming local annual seasonal peaks and festive holidays, our outlook for the second quarter and the remainder of the year remains bullish,” Paul Griffiths said in a statement.
Dubai’s main airport DXB registered a 55.8 percent increase in passenger traffic in the first quarter of this year compared to same period of last year, reaching 95.6 percent of 2019 levels.
The operator said it welcomed around 21.3 million passengers in the first three months of 2023.
March was the busiest month in the first quarter, with 7.3 million passengers, the highest monthly traffic since January 2020, when the airport recorded 7.8 million passengers.
Moreover, the airport registered 66 million passengers in 2022.
According to the statement, India remained its top destination country, with passenger traffic reaching 3 million, followed by Saudi Arabia at 1.6 million, the UK at 1.4 million and Pakistan at 1 million.
The airport handled 400,015 tons of cargo during the first quarter of 2023, a contraction of 23 percent compared to the first quarter of 2022, during which the hub handled 519,555 tons of air freight.
Air Arabia’s Q1 net profit rises 17% to $93m
Sharjah-based low-cost airline Air Arabia has reported a first-quarter profit of 342 million dirhams ($93 million), up 17 percent over the same quarter last year.
The Dubai-listed airline reported revenue of 1.429 billion dirhams in the first quarter of 2023, up from 1.128 billion dirhams in the year-ago period.
In a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, the carrier said it flew 3.9 million passengers during the first quarter of this year, up 59 percent over the same period last year.
Air Arabia Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al-Thani said: “We remain steadfast in our growth plans; we will continue to build on our strengths and explore new opportunities that will enable us to further expand the reach of our value-driven product, enabling more customers and communities to benefit from our affordable and reliable air travel offering.”
UAE’s digital economy to grow as top bodies ink deal
The Arab Federation for Digital Economy and the Union of Arab Chambers signed a cooperation agreement at the Entrepreneurs Investment Summit in Abu Dhabi.
The agreement was signed by Khaled Hanafi, secretary-general of the Union of Arab Chambers and Ali Mohamed Al-Khoury, adviser to the Council of Arab Economic Unity and chairman of the Arab Union for Digital Economy.
The agreement stressed the importance of collaboration to achieve a shared Arab vision for the digital economy.
The two parties are committed to expanding the application of the Arab Free Trade Agreement and increasing the capabilities of e-commerce and modern technology in the Arab region.
The e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa is classified as the fastest-growing in the world, with a value of $49 billion by the end of 2022.
Moreover, 60 percent of consumers in the Arab region pay through digital channels when shopping online, a 20 percent increase from 2021, revealed an industry report.
In 2021, companies in the MENA region recorded combined profits of $201.7 billion, an increase of 121 percent from $91 billion in 2020, the report stated.