Major airport expansions and a booming aviation industry across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia will be reflected by a record gathering of suppliers from around the world at the Airport Show which opens in Dubai next week.
The event, the region’s only dedicated trade show for airport construction, operations and technologies, has grown by 25 per cent this year and, with more than 500 suppliers from 52 countries and an expected 5,000 visitors, will be Asia’s largest international airport industry exhibition.
The Airport Show is held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group and Chairman of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise. It takes place at a time when, according to research by organisers, Streamline Marketing Group, airport developments worth nearly US$ 60 billion are taking place across the region with US$ 20 billion in the UAE alone.
For the first time the event, running from May 28 – 30 in Airport Expo Dubai, features three major conferences, ‘Aviation Security Middle East’, ‘Air Traffic Control Middle East’ and ‘Ground Handling Middle East’ at which international experts will give insights into the issues affecting the aviation sector.
Since its inception in 2001, The Airport Show has become established as a major forum for the pre-qualification of suppliers for airport development schemes across the region and this year more than 30 civil aviation authorities and airports will be represented.
Taking part for the first time is Dubai World Central, which is looking to secure suppliers for the US$ 8.2 billion international airport being built at Jebel Ali. The airport, set to be the largest in the world, is part of the 140-square-kilometre US$33 billion DWC development and is designed to serve the emirate’s passenger and cargo air transportation needs until 2050 and beyond, handling over 120 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo a year.
Qatar’s New Doha International Airport will be highlighting the US$ 5.5 billion project to create a new aviation hub in the region while the Abu Dhabi Airports Company will be seeking suppliers for its US$ 6.8 billion expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport. Other projects under the spotlight include the US$ 4.1 billion revamp of Dubai International Airport and the US$ 4.8 billion expansion of the King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Emirates Group will also have a major presence at the Airport Show this year. The Dubai government-owned group, which includes Emirates Airline, Dnata and Emirates SkyCargo, is the region’s largest aviation and airport ground handling operator. Procurement specialists intend to source new technologies and brief industry suppliers on equipment requirements for their existing operations at Dubai International Airport as well as for their future expansion needs.
In addition officials from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), an investment vehicle designed to channel US$15 billion into creating a global aerospace manufacturing and services corporation, will be attending to source suppliers.
The growth of the Airport Show and the scale of aviation infrastructure development in the region was underlined at an official press conference in Dubai today addressed by Khalifa Al Zaffin, Director, Engineering Projects, Department of Civil Aviation, Dubai, and Laith Kubba, Director of Streamline Marketing Group.
“Once again we are delighted with the response that the exhibition has generated,” said Kubba. “All of the major international players within the aviation industry will be present and the event will showcase the latest technologies. The conferences will add an extra dimension this year giving delegates the opportunity to learn more about the newest developments and issues affecting airports, airlines and the global aviation sector.”