Dubai will become the world’s busiest airport within three years if current growth rates are maintained, according to Airports Council International figures.

The Gulf state hub handled 88.2 million passengers last year, up 5.5%, putting it in third spot while the world’s busiest airport saw numbers fall marginally.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield–Jackson airport recorded 103.9 million passengers in 2017, down 0.3% on the previous year.

Second on the list was Beijing with 95.8 million passengers in 2017, up 1.5% with Tokyo on 85 million and Los Angeles on 84.6 million also in the top five.

Dubai International Airport pipped Heathrow as the airport with most international visitors. In 2003 it recorded just 37.4 million passengers.

The Airports Council International report revealed just four airports in the top 50 saw passenger numbers decline in 2017 – Atlanta, Miami and Houston and Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino airport in Italy.

The biggest passenger number increases were seen in Asia where Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi saw 14.1% growth, Xi’an Xianyang International 13.1%, Kuala Lumpur 11.2% and Guangzhou Baiyun 10.2%.

In the list of the world’s busiest airports Heathrow was seventh overall, down from sixth in 2015 and third in 2014. Gatwick came 32nd, up from 36th last year and 40th in 2010.