As the holiday season approaches, Dubai is to experience the greatest influx of tourists than any other city in the world. Apart from 30,000 people flying on the Christmas day, about 1.9 million people have already been booked for Dubai with the British Airways this season. The passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport already went up 10% in November and this increase was mainly attributed to the flow from Western Europe and India. The airport takes fourth spot as one of the world’s busiest hubs for international passengers.
The sun, the beach and luxurious shopping malls and restaurants make Dubai a perfect place to spend vacations. A British Airways survey has revealed that customers are ready to flock Dubai this festive season. Alongside New York, Australia, Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro, Dubai was tagged as one of the top five most coveted overseas destinations for 2013 in a Facebook poll by the British carrier. According to Paolo De Renzis, Area Commercial Manager Middle East and Central Asia, “Our customers’ favorite long-haul destinations from London this festive season are New York, Miami, Cape Town, Hong Kong and Dubai, which shows that, with the exception of New York, people are looking for a warmer way to spend Christmas and New Year”. “Dubai has long been a destination of choice for Europeans looking for sun, beach and shopping, while at the same time, Dubai residents are looking for new cities and countries to discover”, he said.
Because of the central location and Emirate’s thriving tourism industry, airlines are already coming up with expansion plans. The projects released by Dubai International Airport reveal that in 2013, the number of passengers is going to hit whopping 66 million, while the airport already handles around five million passengers a month. Huge retail, hotel and entertainment projects are also being planned to cater to the upsurge of foreign visitors expected in the following decade.
As for the plans that are underway at the airport, a new segment to handle Airbus A380 superjumbo planes is all set to open in 2013, hence taking the airport’s capacity to 75m passengers from 60m yearly. Moreover, in order to deal with the increasing traffic, the emirates is would open Al Maktoum International airport by the end of 2013.
According to reports, Dubai and Abu Dhabi would continue to lead the tourism industry. However, on the murkier side, the political instability in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon will continue to affect the tourism prospects negatively.
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