Dubai’s status as a growing international aviation hub will be highlighted next week when the Airport Show, one of the largest airport construction, operations, technology and services exhibitions to be staged anywhere in the world, opens for business.
With a record line up of more than 600 suppliers from 40 countries, and over 6,000 visitors expected to attend, the show has grown by 12% this year in line with the ongoing aviation boom across the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.
Manufacturers and suppliers heading for Dubai from around the world have major incentives. According to research conducted by the show’s organisers, Streamline Marketing Group, airport projects and expansions across the region are currently valued at more than US$68 billion, with the Gulf countries accounting for US$43 billion of this growth.
The show has become a well established forum for the selection and pre-qualification of suppliers and contractors for airport developments across the region and this year more than 100 civil aviation authorities and airports will be represented.
Taking place at Airport Expo Dubai from 2-4 June, this year’s show features four specialist conferences, ‘Future Airports, ‘Air Traffic Control Middle East’, ‘Aviation Security Middle East’ and ‘Ground Handling Middle East’, giving aviation officials the chance to discuss and debate pertinent issues affecting the aviation sector such as increasing air traffic and the requirements of future airports.
The inaugural Future Airports conference, from 2-3 June will include a keynote session on current airport projects across the region, led by Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman, Dubai World Central, Inderjit Singh, Senior Vice President, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise and Andreas Schimm, Director, Economics and Programme Development, Airports Council International.
The conference will also address airspace management, financing of future airports and the environmental implications of airport expansion. The Air Traffic Control, Aviation Security and Ground Handling conferences will highlight new trends and technology, and the challenges associated with increasing passenger and cargo traffic.
The mammoth scale of airport development in the region is the main reason for the success of the Airport Show in Dubai.
Major expansion is underway in the Gulf countries and in Jordan, Iraq, India, Sri Lanka and across the African continent.
Heading the list at US$10 billion is the new Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport – to become the largest airport in the world and handling 120 million passengers annually – followed by the development of Abu Dhabi International Airport at US$6.8 billion and Qatar’s US$5.5 billion New Doha International Airport.
Other major developments include Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul Aziz, Madinah and Tabuk Airports at a total cost of US$11.3 billion, along with the modernisation of smaller airports in India at US$4 billion, and further projects worth US$3.5 billion and $US2 billion respectively in Libya and Baghdad.
Among the record exhibitor line-up will be UAE-based Bayanat Airports Engineering and Supplies, one of the Gulf region’s leading suppliers and integrators of airport systems, which is forecasting 30% growth and US$30 million in new business in the Middle East in 2008.
The company is currently working on contracts valued at AED150 million to install specialist airport systems at Dubai International Airport, Abu Dhabi International Airport and the new Doha International Airport in Qatar.
Bayanat Airports is enjoying phenomenal growth on the back of the massive airport development in the UAE and other Gulf countries, and says the Airport Show in Dubai will be a platform for more major business gains.
“We are delighted that the Airport Show continues to grow in line with the strong demand for airport suppliers and contractors in this region,” said Streamline Marketing Group’s Louisa Theobald. “The four specialist conferences on the exhibitor floor will add a new dimension to the show and provide the world’s leading airport representatives with a chance to debate important industry issues.”