The three major sixth freedom hubs in the Middle East – Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi – added 7.7 million passengers between them in 2011. Passenger traffic at the three hubs continues to grow by leaps and bounds, regardless of the regional disruptions that affected traffic in the Middle East last year. Much of this is testament to the strength of their home carriers, the industry aligned development policies pursued at each airport and the vision of local governments to transform their cities into major aviation centres.

Combined, the three hubs had an average passenger traffic growth rate of 10.5%. This is a notably stronger performance than the rest of the Middle East, where international traffic expanded 8.9% over 2011. Hub growth is closely tied to growth from each hub's main carrier: Etihad Airways, Emirates and Qatar Airways. All three have already announced significant expansion in the near future.

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Source: Capa, centre for aviation


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