In more than one way 2013 was a year of tremendous success, with record passenger traffic, the opening of the world-class Concourse A and the commissioning of the new passenger terminal at Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central.
Dubai International again experienced record growth, with passenger traffic rising 15.2 per cent to 66.4 million for the full year. In December alone we welcomed 6-million passengers, another first for the airport.
The opening of Concourse A, the world’s first purpose-built A380 facility, was another highlight. The commissioning of the new facility proved timely, increasing our capacity to 75 million and accommodating more than 14 million passengers in its first year. It also proved a success with our customers, with many of its world-class F&B outlets garnering awards and offering a unique dining experience for our visitors, becoming a destination in its own right.
Overall revenue rose 17 per cent, boosted by the record passenger numbers as well as a buoyant contribution from our commercial activities where our passengers have welcomed our investment in new facilities and services, particularly in terms of food & beverage outlets.
But this dramatic growth is not without its challenges. We have to stay ahead of the steep growth curve by increasing our capacity – on the ground and in the air – to accommodate the rising number of passengers while maintaining and improving the service our passengers expect of us.
So 2013 was also a year of mapping out and preparing for what appears to be a bright and busy future for Dubai Airports. Our traffic projections show that we will have more than 100 million passengers passing through our airports by 2020.
To meet traffic expansion expected during this decade, our SP2020 programme is progressing well. With the opening of Concourse A now behind us, we have continued to expand our facilities with Concourse D and a refurbished Terminal 1 on track to open during the first quarter of 2015 and the final phase of the expanded Terminal 2 later this year.
Significant planning and preparation has also gone into the planned refurbishment of both of Dubai International’s runways in an 80 day period commencing in May 2014, and we have expended all possible efforts to put measures in place to minimise the impact on our customers. The refurbishment programme is vital in maintaining our high safety standards as well as accommodating the rapid growth in the number of flights at DXB.
And as we prepare for the future, we are refining our business processes and putting systems in place that will allow us to meet the demands of our rapid expansion. In 2013 measures included the commissioning of a new airport operating centre and more rigorous approach to programme management.
With many of these foundations now in place, 2014 is likely a year of delivery, both in terms of the remaining SP2020 projects but also in the people, processes and systems needed to deliver those projects and manage the growing number of passengers.