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Traffic at the major transit hub rose slightly to 89.15 million passengers, up just over 1.0 percent on the number who used the airport in 2017, the airport said in a statement.
Although the figure is a new record high, it missed on the 90.3 million passengers Dubai airport had projected for 2018.
Indian travellers retained the top position with 12.28 million passengers last year and Saudis came in second with 6.47 million travellers, overtaking Britons.
Passengers from east Europe made the largest growth with 16.7 percent followed by the Commonwealth of Independent States and Africa, the statement said.