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Despite sluggish global economic growth, low oil prices, US and Brexit influences, the UAE is set to lead the Middle East passenger growth for the year, with an annual increase of more than 6.3 percent according to estimates from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Middle East carriers reported the strongest annual traffic growth for the fifth year running in 2016, according to these estimates.

Revenue passenger kilometres grew 11.8 percent while a capacity growth of 13.7 percent exceeded demand, however driving down the average load factor by 1.3 percentage points to 74.7 percent.

Airports across the region are said to be expanding slightly ahead of the curve in demand, with capacity forecasted to rise 10.1 percent for this year with major carriers and hubs projected to host an additional 258 million passengers a year by 2035, as depicted by IATA. 

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