The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has announced in its recent Quarterly Economic Review that UAE airports welcomed a whopping 31.8 million passengers in the first quarter of 2023. This figure represents a notable surge from the same period in 2022 when the passenger count was around 20.4 million, marking an increase of 11.5 million passengers.
The CBUAE report suggests that the civil aviation sector has successfully recouped its pre-pandemic passenger traffic levels. Furthermore, the cumulative investments in UAE’s civil aviation sector have soared past AED 1 trillion. In particular, the development and expansion of airports have received investments amounting to AED 85 billion, gearing up to host over 300 million passengers annually.
The UAE aviation sector, as of 2022, has been instrumental in contributing to the nation’s economy, accounting for roughly 14% of the GDP. This substantial contribution stands out when compared to major emerging markets and advanced economies, where the contribution usually hovers between 2-3%.