The Airport Show’s 2012 edition looks all set to feature a significant growth in the number of participants despite the economic crisis in the world, thereby reflecting the importance of the region on the world aviation map.
Reed Exhibitions Middle East, organisers of the show which will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports, expects a growth of 15 to 20 per cent in terms of exhibitors for this year’s show which in turn highlights Airport Show’s key contribution to the growing aviation industry in the region and the world.
Over the next 10 years, the UAE will be investing AED500 billion in upgrading and developing its aviation infrastructure, improving connectivity and cementing its reputation as a key growth driver in global aviation, according to Mr. Sultan Al Mansoori, UAE’s Minister of Economy and Chairman of Board of Directors of General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has reported that about 2.7 billion passengers travelled by air in 2011, a 5.1 per cent rise in the air passenger traffic compared with the previous year.
The Middle East region saw the biggest rise in international passenger growth recording 11.9 per cent year-on-year rise followed by Europe with 9.5 percent rise, Latin America nine per cent rise, North America 2.9 per cent, Asia-Pacific region 6.3 per cent and the African region 4.7 per cent.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projections rated the UAE as the seventh of the Top 10 markets in 2014 for international passengers, with 82.3 million passengers projected to use the airports in the second biggest Arab economy. IATA also indicated that by 2014 there will be 3.3 billion air travelers.
According to Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO, the fastest growing markets for international passenger traffic will be China (10.8 per cent), the United Arab Emirates (10.2 per cent), Vietnam (10.2 per cent), Malaysia (10.1 per cent) and Sri Lanka (9.5 per cent).
The Middle East is expected to have the fastest growth rate at 9.4 per cent until the year 2014. The UAE, Kuwait and Jordan will be among the top 10 fastest growing countries, with the UAE projected to rank 7th for handling over 82.3 million international passenger within the next two year.
Mr. Mohamad Bader-Eddin, Show Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said:
“The Airport Show, in its 12 year running, will be a great additional value to the region’s aviation industry and will be enabling significant deals and contracts, spurred by the momentum in the industry.”
The show is firmly established as one of the world’s leading events devoted exclusively to airport construction, operations, technology and services. The Airport Show is supported by leading international industry associations and local government authorities.
Airport Show 2012 will be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center (DICEC) from May 22 to 24. About 5,000 trade visitors from 62 countries attended the 2011 edition.
International experts have said that the aviation sector is very vital for the Middle East economy and they believe that in the next couple of years it will add more challenges to the decision-makers to offer better facilities and services to ensure that Middle East airports handle the growth in passenger demands smoothly.
The value of projects that are being executed and planned by the organisations participating in the 2012 edition of Airport Show is in excess of US$30 billion, making the Airport Show a not-to-be-missed B2B event. The Middle East region is all set to see billions of dollar in investments in airports expansion by 2020.
According to indicative figures provided by UAE aviation officials, the international airports in the UAE closed the year 2011 handling roughly about 70 million passengers, including more than 50 million in Dubai, 12 million in Abu Dhabi and seven million in Sharjah. The capacity of the UAE airports will be increased to handle 250 million passengers by 2020.
The UAE’s achievements in the aviation sector and the huge expansion drive will make the UAE one of the most important air transport hubs in the world and will make the UAE proud of its growth records in the coming years despite the economic crisis in the world, Mr. Bader-Eddin said.
Dubai Airports announced plans to invest AED28 billion towards the expansion of Dubai and DWC airports by 2020.
Expansion plans will increase the capacity of Dubai International to 90 million passengers annually by 2018, from the current 60 million upon the completion of all expansion programmes that comprise the construction of the Concourse 4 to support the growth of Emirates airline by 2015, the expansion of Terminal 2 at Dubai International, and the improvement of services at Dubai International.
About AED1 billion has been allocated to complete the first phase of the state-of-the-art Exhibition City at the Dubai World Central in Jebel Ali area.
Abu Dhabi is expected to start work on the 700,000-square-metre Midfield Terminal Building as part of the AED25 billion expansion plans for the airport which will open in 2017. It will have a capacity for 27 million to 30 million passengers a year.
The other major expansions are by Qatar (US$11 billion), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (US$11.5 billion), Muscat, Oman (US$1.2 billion) and approximately US$2.1 billion and US$335 million in Kuwait and Bahrain, respectively.