Bahrain's airshow surpasses $3 billion mark
Bahrain is bracing itself for huge investment in its aviation sector after a tripling of business at this weekend's Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS 2014).
Deals worth more than $3 billion (BD1.1bn) were done during the three-day event, which ended yesterday.
An estimated 56,000 people visited the trade and public areas throughout the show and 100 aerospace businesses, representing 32 countries, took part.
Transportation Minister and Economic Develop-ment Board acting chief executive Kamal Ahmed confirmed deals struck at the event reached more than $3bn, proving the air show was a major business event for the Middle East and North Africa region.
"It's been a successful three days here at the BIAS 2014. We are delighted that regional and international companies are choosing Bahrain to make their announcements and conduct their business," he said.
"We hope to build on this for future air shows, as the event plays a key role in supporting our attributes as a hub for business in the region."
Supreme organising committee chairman Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa said he was amazed how successful the event had been.
"We are expecting a huge amount of investment in the aviation sector over the next four or five years and for Bahrain to have its third show here showing steady growth from the last two shows, we are of course very proud of that," he said during a Press conference marking the conclusion of the event.
"I think for Bahrain it has been a true success."Our first show was big, our second show was bigger but this event has doubled in size and the amount of sales has tripled, which makes us very proud.
"In 2016 we look forward to having an equally successful, if not bigger, event. "The Sakhir Airbase is a wonderful venue. Everything went as planned and it was a beautiful show.
"If you look around the airfield, tens of thousands of people have been dotting the neighbouring hills and watching from the roads so it has been a spectacle that everyone has been able to enjoy."Mr Ahmed confirmed planning for the next air show would start as soon as next week. "We are concerned with the quality, not just the quantity," he said."During the last two days, our teams have been meeting with companies to ensure that they will be involved with future events.
"More than 60 per cent have already committed themselves to attend the next show."
Farnborough International commercial director Amanda Stainer said officials had received positive feedback from participants and visitors to the show. "The quality of the delegates, the international clientele, the new exhibition pavilion and the exclusive networking environment, have all contributed to the event's success," she said. Dates for the next air show have been confirmed as January 21-23, 2016. firstname.lastname@example.org