Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Fri October 07 2016

Dubai International Airport on Pace to Become World's Busiest Within the Decade

Airlines & Airports | Patrick Clarke | October 07, 2016

Dubai International Airport on Pace to Become World's Busiest Within the Decade

PHOTO: A Kish Airlines flight prepares to depart Dubai International Airport. (Photo via Flickr/Alan Wilson)

Dubai International Airport has set its sights on taking over the title of world's busiest airport by the end of the decade.

Currently the world's busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic having recently overtaken London's Heathrow Airport, Dubai still trails China's Beijing Capital International Airport and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in terms of overall passenger traffic.

"The growth rates that we are experiencing are more than double what is being experienced by both Beijing and Atlanta," Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths told Bloomberg TV. "Within perhaps this decade, we should see ourselves exceeding the total traffic through those airports for the number 1 absolute spots."

According to Griffiths, the airport hosted 78 million passengers last year and is expecting to see five million additional passengers pass through this year. By next year the airport is expected to see passenger traffic reach a whopping 90 million. 

READ MORE: How an Airline Put Dubai on the Map

Although Hartsfield-Jackson saw 101.5 million air travelers pass through its airport last year, it only welcomed 5.3 million additional passengers, compared to 7.5 million for Dubai. Beijing hit 89.9 million passengers, but grew by only 3.8 million in 2015.

Dubai's tremendous growth in passenger traffic can be partly attributed to its hometown carrier as Emirates' ongoing expansion is helping to propel the airport's march toward becoming the world's busiest. A boost in key markets, including India and the United Kingdom have also increased passenger traffic at the airport in recent years. 

In addition to wearing the crown for overall passenger traffic, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson is the world's busiest airport in terms of total flights served, beating out rival Chicago O'Hare International Airport with nearly 882,500 in 2015.

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