As the world’s busiest international hub that’s also striving for the title of the world’s best airport, everything we do here comes down to just two main objectives – to maintain our traffic growth and to delight our customers by delivering an unforgettable airport experience. It’s deeply satisfying to note that we were successful at achieving both those objectives throughout 2018.
Despite numerous challenges to growth during the year, Dubai Airports welcomed some 90 million customers through DXB and DWC. We smashed our own record for the busiest month in history with traffic at DXB exceeding the 8 million-mark on two occasions. DXB ended the year on high note by retaining its position as the busiest airport for international passenger traffic for the fifth consecutive year.
But it wasn’t all about the traffic. The year witnessed the launch of a number of initiatives, services and products to take customer experience one notch higher. We introduced exclusive food concepts such as Hard Rock café, Candylicious and Nutella to delight our customers and paid special attention to the unique requirements of our Chinese customers. Using our state of the art airport operations control centre we were able to reduce wait times at DXB by 28%.
We also unveiled our new corporate brand during the year and launched a company-wide transformation programme that continues to guide us evolve and prepare for the future. We completed DWC’s major expansion to make it bigger and better – more than quadrupling its capacity to 26.5 million passengers annually and adding some shiny new facilities for our passengers.
The highlight of 2018 came towards the end of the year when DXB crossed the historic milestone of welcoming our billionth international passenger on December 20 – providing a fitting climax to another hugely successful year.
There’s a lot to celebrate for all that we have achieved last year, but a lot more to look forward to and prepare for in the coming months. We will begin by completing the transformation journey we began last year by unveiling our new customer facing brand for DXB, signifying Dubai Airports’ transition from airport operator to a consumer led entity.
And we will continue to do our best to deliver on our promises to our service partners and airlines and most importantly to our customers.