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Aviation giants gearing up for big ME show

Dubai, February 12, 2013

Airport Show 2013, the Middle East’s largest event dedicated to airport technologies, operations and infrastructure, is set to be 20 per cent larger than previous edition when it opens in May, building on the success of its last edition and the continued multi-billion dollar investments across the regional airports sector.

Despite the global economic slowdown, the region’s aviation sector continued to grow amid stormy headwinds. The aviation industry, which contributes $22 billion, or 28 per cent to Dubai’s gross domestic product, also plays a key role in diversifying the emirate’s economy, said the indutsry experts.

"That’s why the UAE – a country with a population of less than eight million, is served by five national airlines that are all growing. Dubai is investing Dh28 billion ($7.62 billion) while Abu Dhabi is investing Dh25 billion in expanding its airport capabilities," they stated.

The Middle East continues to allocate large investments for developing new and existing airports at a cost of over Dh437 billion ($119 billion). An additional Dh106 billion in various segments of this sector is under the consideration of industry experts in Middle East.

Meanwhile, passenger traffic in the GCC has grown at a CAGR of 10 per cent between 2002 and 2010, significantly higher than the global average of between one and three percent, said experts.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), the chairman of Dubai Airports, and chairman and chief executive of Emirates airline & Group, said aviation has now become a vital contributor to the UAE’s economy, adding more than Dh145 billion ($39.47 billion) or 14.7 per cent to the national GDP.

“This contribution is projected to grow further in the coming years and as such justifies the country's huge investment in airports and airline networks. Aviation and logistics have had a major impact on other economic sectors such as tourism, hospitality, trade and finance, and activity in one spurs growth in the others,” noted Al Maktoum.

According to experts, the Middle Eastern airports are expected to handle more than 400 million passengers by 2020.

Earlier this year, the director general of ACI World, Angela Gittens said: “Within 20 years, traffic is forecast to double and governments and private investors must now build the capacity needed, without further delay to plan for this expansion and modernization. Governments and private investors must not shy about committing to infrastructure investment that is so crucially linked to economic development.”

Airport Show 2013 hopes of achieving a significant growth when it takes off on May 6 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre (DICEC).

This year’s event will showcase the latest technologies in the airports industry, and attract airport and aviation professionals from around the world.

A two-day international conference titled Global Airport Leaders’ Forum will also take place along the sidelines of the show, offering the industry a platform to address the global challenges that it faces and encourage cross border partnerships and cooperation.

The forum will act as a global industry meeting of CEOs and experts to generate solutions, drive improvement and innovation to overcome shared policy, security, technology, capacity, environment and business growth challenges for continued airport expansion and passenger satisfaction.

It will address leadership strategies and provide insights into how to develop collaborative aviation policies, and position airports as engines for national economic growth. The forum will also develop themes of future planning and innovation, and topics for discussion will include sustainability, technology and management.

Airport Show 2013 assumes greater significance with a large number of debuting and returning exhibitors, new national pavilions and a dedicated Airport Passenger Experience (APE) area, showcasing the latest cutting edge technologies from around the world.

It will see Germany, Switzerland, France and China participate with national pavilions as before, and Malaysia is coming in with a national pavilion for the first time. The 2012 event attracted 211 exhibitors from 32 countries.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Airport Show | Middle East | Dubai | growth |

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