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Dubai airport passenger traffic up 8.9 pct in Nov

Some 4.4 million passengers passed through the world's fourth busiest airport during the month, up from 4.07 million in the same period last year, it said in a statement.

December 29, 2011 3:24 by

Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport grew by 8.9 percent in November from a year earlier, operator Dubai Airports said on Wednesday, with Gulf Arab traffic helping offset a decline in Middle East travel due to political unrest in the region.

Aircraft movements for November rose to 29,093, up 8.5 per cent from 26,823 recorded during the same month in 2010.

“Considering that we have had an average monthly traffic of 4.2 million passengers in the first eleven months of 2011, we are well on track to surpass the historical figure of 50 million in annual traffic this year,” Jamal al-Haj, vice president of international affairs and communications at Dubai Airports, said in the statement.

Gulf Arab states produced the strongest passenger growth, followed by the Indian subcontinent, overtaking Russia which was the airport’s top source of passengers in October.

However, traffic on Middle Eastern routes contracted during the month as tourists stayed clear of countries rocked by a year of unrest that has toppled three Arab governments in the region.

Air freight traffic was also impacted by global economic conditions, dipping 0.4 percent to 191,658 tonnes of freight handled in November from 192,405 tonnes last year.

One of the seven emirates in the UAE, trade and business hub Dubai, was hit by the $25 billion debt restructuring of Dubai World.

Dubai’s government earlier this week unveiled a 2012 budget that would see a cut in spending as the emirate claws its way back from the depths of its debt crisis.

Economic woes in Europe and the U.S. may slow growth in the United Arab Emirates to around 3 percent next year, top officials said in October.           (Reporting by Nour Merza; Editing by Amran Abocar)

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