Dubai’s international airport set a new traffic record in July, owners announced August 24, boosted by generous incentives to visit the emirate.
The airport handled 4.3 million passengers in July 2010, up from 3.77 million in July 2009 and exceeded its highest ever monthly total by over 300,000 passengers.
Traffic growth from Eastern Europe, up 219 percent, Asia, up 34 percent and Russia/CIS up 29 percent, was particularly strong, said Dubai Airports.
The results will be seen as good news for Dubai tourism, which suffered a significant drop in visitor numbers and tourism revenues in 2009.
At the ITB Berlin Tourism tradeshow in March, Dubai’s government and flag-carrier airline Emirates launched a generous promotion that allowed children under 16 traveling with two adults to fly to the destination and stay in a hotel for free, including meals and airport transfers.
Tourism officials denied that the move was a response to plummeting visitor rates on the back of the country’s economic crisis, insisting that it “underlines our strategy of further establishing Dubai as a year-round destination and appealing to all target groups.”
The offer is still open (for flights before September 30) and includes 80 hotels and tourist attractions such as the Wild Wadi water park, Ski Dubai or Atlantis, the Palm.