Russian visitor numbers to Dubai down 36 per cent in February

Russian passenger traffic to Dubai fell by 36 per cent in February as the country’s economic meltdown took a further toll on tourism.

Passenger traffic from Russian and CIS routes recorded their sharpest declines to date last month. The numbers were also down 22.7 per cent in January, data from Dubai International Airport showed.

The introduction of international sanctions against Russia following its annexation of Crimea has battered its economy and sent the value of the rouble tumbling.

Despite the sharp decline in Russian visitor numbers, Dubai International attracted 5.9 million passengers last month, reflecting a 5.3 per cent increase year on year.

Routes to the India subcontinent registered the highest growth in February, followed by western Europe and Asia. Doha came first in terms of top destination cities followed by London, Mumbai and Jeddah, the airport’s data showed.

Cargo volumes inched up by 1.2 per cent to 191,002 tonnes compared to 188,702 tonnes in February last year. Last May, Emirates moved its cargo operations from Dubai International to Dubai’s second airport Al Maktoum International.

Dubai International toppled London Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport by international travellers in 2014. Total passenger numbers grew 6.1 per cent to more than 70.47 million last year.

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