Dubai Airports Main Fact File

DXB and DWC Airport Facilities, Capacity, and Traffic

Dubai Airports manages the development and operation of both of Dubai’s airports – Dubai International (DXB), the world’s number one airport for international passengers, and Dubai World Central (DWC). Dubai Airports was established as a commercial entity in April 2007, following organisational restructuring of the erstwhile Dubai Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

DXB Traffic 2022

  • DXB’s annual traffic in 2022 jumped 127% to reach 66 million passengers, which is 76.4% of 2019 levels.
  • Direct (point to point) traffic continues to drive the growth of DXB accounting for 58% of the total traffic while transfer constituted 42% of the volume.  
  • Annual traffic was boosted by a strong second half during which the average monthly traffic crossed the 6 million passenger mark.
  • The fourth quarter of 2022 was the strongest since 2019 with 19.7m passengers, up 67% YoY.
  • December was the busiest month of 2022 with 7.1m passengers, the first time since January 2020 when the monthly traffic reached the 7m mark.
  • DXB is now connected with 229 destinations across 99countries via 88 international airlines.
  • DXB handled 62.2m bags in 2022 with a success rate of 99.8% (mishandled baggage rate of 2 bags per 1,000 passengers). The baggage volume represents 86.2% of 2019 levels.
  • 96.2% of passengers queued for 5 minutes at departure passport control, while the average waiting time at arrivals passport control was less than 13 minutes for 95.5% of passengers.
  • The average queue times at security check on departures was less than 3 minutes for 96.4% of the passengers.*
  • 92% of all baggage was delivered within 45 minutes at arrivals.**
  • Top Countries in 2022: India – 9.8m passengers (4.3m in 2021) | KSA – 4.9m passengers (1.5m in 2021) | UK – 4.6m passengers (1.2m in 2021) | Pakistan – 3.7m (1.8m in 2021) | US – 3m passengers (1.2m in 2021) | Russia – 1.9m passengers (912K in 2021)
  • Russia and Turkey recorded more than 100% recovery in passenger numbers in 2022
  • Top Destinations: London – 3m passengers | Riyadh – 2m | Mumbai – 1.9m
  • DXB handled 1.7m tonnes of cargo in 2022, down 25.5% YoY.
  • The contraction in cargo was due to the moving of freighter operations back to DWC in March and the return of pax freighter aircraft back to passenger operations.
  • DXB handled a total of 343,339 flights in 2022, up 47% YoY.
  • The annual forecast for 2023 has been readjusted upwards to 78m passengers.

*Based on average queuing times (weighted by the total number of passengers processed) captured by real-time monitoring system. 
**The baggage delivery performance measures the time from the moment the aircraft comes to a halt on the bay to the time the bags are delivered to the reclaim carousel. 


  • DXB reatained its position as the world's busiest international airport for the 8th consecutive year after welcoming 29.1 m pax in 2021, up 12.7% YoY.
  • The hub handled 2.3m tonnes of cargo in 2021, up 20% YoY.
  • DXB was connected to 198 destinations across 93 countries through 84 international carriers – significantly more than in 2019 before the pandemic.
  • India was top destination country (4.2m pax) followed by Pakistan (1.8m) and Saudi Arabia (1.5m) 
  • Top cities: Istanbul (916K), Cairo (905K), London (814K) and New Delhi (791K)
  • Annual traffic was propelled by a spike in the final three months of the year during which DXB recorded 11.8m passengers, 77% more than in the previous quarter. 
  • The fourth quarter was the busiest since Q1 of 2020, and the first time since the start of the pandemic that DXB’s quarterly traffic surpassed the 10m mark. 
  • December was the busiest month in 2021 with 4.5m passengers.
  • DXB returned to 100% operational capacity on November 24 with the reopening of Concourse A after the facility was closed for 20 months. 
  • Earlier, Terminal 1 and Concourse D were reopened on June 24, 2021 almost 15 months after the facilities were closed down in March 2020 following the partial suspension of operations at DXB as part of measures to combat the spread of Covid-19. 

DXB Fast Facts

  • Airport Perimeter – 7 KM X 2.5 KM 
  • DXB comprises three terminals: 
    - Terminal 1 (includes Concourse D) serves all airlines 
    - Terminal 2 serves scheduled, charter, and special flights (pilgrimage) 
    - Terminal 3 (includes Concourses A, B & C) is dedicated for use by Emirates 
  • Total built up area of DXB is 2,122,474sqm [T1+Concourse C (246,474sqm) + T2 (13000 sqm) + T3+Concourse B (1,185,000 sqm) + Concourse A (528,000) + Concourse D (150,000sqm)] 
  • The 35,000 sqm cargo facility at DXB capable of handling 3.1 m tonnes of cargo annually 
  • DXB has a total of 526 check in counters 
    T1 – 211 | Transfers (Concourse D) – 31 | T2 – 52 | T3 - 232 
  • DXB became the world’s number 1 airport for international passengers in 2014 with passenger numbers totalling 70.4m. 
  • Busiest month – August 2018 with 8.3 m passengers (approx. 280,000 passengers per day; 11,500 passengers per hour) 
  • The Baggage Handling System (BHS) is 175KM long. An average bag spends 29 mins in the system. 
  • The BHS handles up to 9.3m bags/month during peak season (2018). 
  • Powered by more than 21,000 motors, the BHS has 15,000 trays and is spread over an area equal to 75 football fields. 
  • Dubai Duty Free sells an average of 2.9 m bottles of perfume 2,066 tonnes of chocolate, 995 tonnes of dates and 2,711 kilograms of gold every year. (2018).



  • The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on traffic at the world’s leading international airport throughout 2020 due to lockdowns and closure of airports and airlines around the world.
  • DXB had ceased all operations from March 25 following directives by UAE authorities as part of national measures to tackle the spread of the virus. UAE residents were allowed return to the country from June 22 while Dubai reopened for international tourists from July 7, 2020.
  • Between March and April, Dubai Airports worked with diplomatic missions, airlines and UAE authorities to enable the repatriation of 500,000 people on 4,100 special flights from DXB and DWC.
  • DXB welcomed a total of 25.9 million passengers for the full year of 2020 (-70%).
  • India retained its position as the top destination country for DXB by passenger numbers, with traffic for 2020 reaching 4.3 million, followed by the United Kingdom with 1.89 million customers and Pakistan coming in third with 1.86 million customers. Other destination countries of note include Saudi Arabia with 1.45 million customers.
  • The top three cities by passengers were London (1.15 million) Mumbai (772,000) and New Delhi with 722,000 passengers.
  • DXB handled 183,993 flights (-51.4%) in 2020, with average number of customers/flight contracting to 188, down 20.3%.
  • DXB moved 1,932,022 tonnes (-23.2%) of international cargo during 2020.

Dubai World Central (DWC)
Dubai’s second airport opened its doors to passengers on October 27, 2013 with Wizz Air as the launch airline. Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways launched services from October 31 while Gulf Air commenced flights from December 8, 2013.

DWC welcomed the launch of flydubai’s operations with the arrival of their first flight on October 25, 2015. The airline will operate services to a number of destinations from DWC as it continues its operations from Dubai International.

Dubai Airports launched cargo operations at DWC on June 27, 2010 as part of the first phase of the project. All cargo operators were moved from DXB to DWC by May 2014, making DWC the main cargo hub. It is also home to 20 cargo operators that fly to as many as 43 cities around the world.

 DWC 2022 Traffic

  • The passenger terminal at DWC accommodated traffic diverted from DXB during the runway refurbishment project at DXB, welcoming some 650,000+ passengers on 6,200 flights between May 9 and June 22, 2022.
  • A number of charter operators have reserved slots since October 1, with demand picking up from the October 28 (start of Winter Season) and expected to sustain through March 2023.
  • An estimated 200,000 plus passengers travelled on match day shuttle flights operated by flydubai and Qatar airways between DWC and Doha for the FIFA World Cup from November 20 to December 18.
  • The two carriers operated up to 120 match day flights between DWC and Doha daily for the duration of the event.
  • Exceptionally busy period for general aviation in DWC with more than 930 General Aviation flights in a week (between December 13-19, the final week of sporting event), a record for DWC.
  • DWC welcomed an estimated 494k passengers in the Q4 2022.


Terminal Expansion
Dubai Airports announced in 2015 a project to expand existing passenger terminal at DWC to accommodate 26 million passengers per annum by 2018.

The expanded facility opened in 2018 after the successful completion of a thorough testing and trial programme. The expanded facility opened in time to offer alternate capacity for airlines during the closure of one of Dubai International’s two runway for refurbishment from April 16 to May 30th, 2019.

The expanded passenger terminal provides a total of 24 boarding gates, a brand new 6,000 bags per hour baggage handling system, 7 baggage reclaim carousels and 104 check-in desks.

DWC Expansion Quick Facts

  • Capacity – 26.5 million (vs current capacity at AUH – 20m, STN – 20m, IST – 30m)
  • Baggage carousels - 7 (up from 4)
  • Arrivals immigration counters – 40 (up from 16)
  • Arrivals smart gates – 5 (up from 4 but space for 20)
  • Check-in desks – 90 + 4 OOG (up from 40 + 2 OOG)
  • Business class check-in – 10 (new)
  • Total check-in – 104 (up from 42)
  • Departure boarding gates – 24 (up from 12)
  • Baggage system – 80 chutes, 8 transfers, 4000 EBS, 6000 bags per hour (up from 4 make-up carousels, 1 transfer line 0 EBS)
  • Hammerhead – new facility, 12 boarding gates, Business class lounge/boarding
  • Parking – 2,542 (up from 759)
  • Area of PTB – 144,000 sqm
  • Remote a/c stands – 98 – largest in the world (up from69)
  • Expanded taxi/limo staging area and pick up/drop off


The downloadable file option provides DXB traffic from 2012.