Holiday season boosts Dubai?s air traffic, hotel sector growth

Dubai International airport has kick started January 2015 welcoming a record 6.8 million passengers ? up 7.7% from the same month last year. Hotels in the emirate meanwhile recorded more than 11.6 million guests in 2014 according to Dubai?s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).The January growth in air traffic follows Dubai?s achievement of crossing the 70 million-passenger traffic mark, and beating London Heathrow to become the world?s number one airport. While Eastern Europe was the fastest expanding market in percentage terms (71.9%), followed by North America and Asia (including the Indian subcontinent), passengers from Russia and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) registered a negative 22.7% growth, highlighting the impact a falling rouble, as well as political instability in the region has had on Russian visitors to the UAE.Overall traffic though was boosted in January by holidaymakers as well as visitors to the annual Dubai Shopping Festival said DTCM, even though freight volumes dipped 5.5 percent as a result of a total of shift of cargo operations to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central since May 2014.?The opening of Concourse D later this year will increase our annual capacity to 90 million passengers?and make sure we can continue to accommodate the increasing number of travelers who choose to fly through DXB. It is also a strong endorsement for our 7.11?bn SP2020 expansion plan which will allow us to remain one step ahead of our expected growth by increasing our capacity both on the ground as well as in the air,? said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports in a statement.