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Saudi Arabia and the UAE rose as the leading countries in the region in terms of air traffic volume, with Qatar demonstrating the strongest growth. These three countries together stand for over 53% of travellers, representing more than 52 million of the 99 million passengers whose point of departure originated from the Middle East in 2012.
This data highlight the UAE as the most prominent point of origin for intercontinental journeys, while Saudi Arabia’s volume is driven by domestic traffic.
In terms of connecting air traffic, the Middle East showed strong performance with the three key airports of Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi experiencing high connecting traffic volumes around 50% and growing at 10% per year, while other major airports in the region (Jeddah, Riyadh or Cairo) showed connection rates of around 10%.