REVEALED: Busiest Middle East cargo airports in 2014

A ranking of 2014's busiest regional airports measured by tonnes carried.
An Omani man takes a picture of the Boeing777 worldliner at Muscat International Airport (MOHAMMED MAHJOUB/AFP/Getty Images)
An Omani man takes a picture of the Boeing777 worldliner at Muscat International Airport (MOHAMMED MAHJOUB/AFP/Getty Images)
Kuwait International Airport.
Kuwait International Airport.
King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in June 2014 (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in June 2014 (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Bahrain International Airport.
Bahrain International Airport.
An Air Arabia Airbus 320 sits on tarmac in 2003 at Sharjah International (NASSER YOUNES/AFP/Getty Images).
An Air Arabia Airbus 320 sits on tarmac in 2003 at Sharjah International (NASSER YOUNES/AFP/Getty Images).
A plane comes in to land at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images).
A plane comes in to land at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images).
A cargo plane at Al Maktoum International.
A cargo plane at Al Maktoum International.
Abu Dhabi International.
Abu Dhabi International.
A terminal at Hamad International Airport in Doha.
A terminal at Hamad International Airport in Doha.
Dubai International.
Dubai International.

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10. Kicking off our ranking is Muscat International Airport (MCT), which handled 122,163 tonnes in 2014. This represents a 1.8% year-on-year increase for the airport.  

Also called Seeb International Airport, this is the largest airport in Oman.

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9. Kuwait (KWI) was 2014's ninth busiest airport in the Middle East. It handled 189,477 tonnes, which is 7% more than in 2013.

Located in Farwaniyah, the airport is spread over nearly 40 sq km, and serves as hub for Jazeera Airways and Kuwait Airways.

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8. King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) in Jeddah handled 205,620 tonnes in 2014, making it the Middle East's eight busiest cargo airport.

For Saudi Arabia's second busiest cargo airport, this volume represents a 4.6% decrease year-on-year.

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7. Bahrain International (BAH) is the seventh busiest airport in our ranking, handling 219,332 tonnes in 2014. 

This is a 10.5% decrease on 2013. 

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Located in Muharraq, an island about 7km northeast of the capital Manama, it serves as the hub for the national carrier Gulf Air.

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6. In sixth place is Sharjah (SHJ) in United Arab Emirates, handling 240,250 tonnes last year, representing a year-on-year decrease of 8.5%. 

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5. The fifth busiest cargo airport in the Middle East during 2014 was King Khalid International Airport (RUH) in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia’s busiest airport handled 370,772 tonnes of cargo last year, which was 13.2% less than in 2013. 

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4. Traffic may have dipped slightly at Dubai International (DXB) but Dubai World Central, the Emirate's other airport, saw a massive leap compared wth 2013.

The relocation of all Emirates SkyCargo flights to DWC pushed handled cargo up to 758, 371 tonnes last year, compared to 209,209 tonnes of air freight during 2013. 

That growth accelerated in the third quarter of the year, with throughput reaching 243,284 tonnes between July and September, according to Dubai Airports, which is 462.5% more than the same period in 2013. 

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3. Third in this ranking of regional cargo airports is Abu Dhabi International (AUH).

The airport handled 806,068 tonnes of loaded and unloaded freight and mail in the January-June period, year-on-year growth of 13.1%.

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2. The second busiest regional cargo airport in 2014 was Hamad International Airport (HIA), in Doha  which reported 995,370 tonnes of loaded and unloaded freight and mail for the year.

This represents a year-on-year growth rate of 12.7%.

This ranking is based on data compiled by Airports Council International (ACI).

Hamad International Airport began cargo operations in December 2013 and replaced Doha International Airport (DOH) as Qatar's airport. 

All airlines serving Doha International had moved to the new Hamad International Airport by the end of May, 2014.

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1. The Middle East's most successful air cargo hub was in 2014 was Dubai International (DXB). The airport handled 2,367,574 tonnes of cargo last year.

However, this was a year-on-year drop of 3.1%, casued by two factors:the partial closure of the airport’s runway over the summer in 2014 and the relocation of Emirates’ cargo-only flights to Dubai World Central's Al Maktoum International.

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