The 14th edition of the Airport Show concluded on Tuesday and proved to be the most successful edition since its launch in 2001 with 20 per cent increase in gross exhibition space.
The world’s top-league B2B event featured 250 exhibitors from 39 countries. This year’s Airport Show had two co-located events, the inaugural Travel Catering Expo (TCE) and 2nd Global Airport Leaders’ Forum (GALF).
Dubai’s iconic aviation industry exhibition occupied about 12,600 square metres of gross exhibition space in three halls at the DICEC. This year’s show grew substantially in terms of exhibition space, number of exhibitors, hosted buyers and registered delegates. More than 60 per cent of the exhibitors were repeat participants.
The Hosted Buyers programme which offers dedicated meetings between the buyers and sellers of latest innovation and technology, recorded a spectacular 80 per cent growth with an all-time high participation of 105 decision-makers from 38 airport operators and civil aviation authorities from 19 countries. Exhibitors utilized the Airport Show to unveil as many as 40 new technologies, products and solutions, many of which were Middle East debuts.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, appreciated the success of the Airport Show saying that the event reflects the unfaltering global interest in the Middle East aviation markets given the massive investments in place for airports and airlines expansion and upgradation.
He said: “This year Airport Show increased by 20 per cent compared to last year. It’s a clear message that Middle East is one of the best important markets for the industry and that the future is very beneficial for the aviation industry. Dubai continues to invest in infrastructure just to meet the need of the future growth.”
Citing example of major expansions at airports in the region with continued growth in passenger numbers, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed said that the Airport Show is an important platform for exhibitors as well as airport operators to get knowledge all latest technologies available in the market.
In his remarks, Jamal Al Hai, Executive Senior Vice President, International Affairs and Communication, Dubai Airports, said: “The Airport Show was bigger and better than last year. Dubai Airports invest $7.8 billion to improve the aviation infrastructure in Dubai and also improve passenger capacity around 100 million. I believe that next year the show will be another story of success.”
George Hannouche, CEO, Bayanat Airport Engineering Supplies (BAES), said: “It was great show for us to meet and discuss deals with decision makers interested to improve their airports in the Middle East. It was also a wonderful opportunity for his company just to see the latest technology and promote new technologies worldwide. Dubai is one of the best markets in aviation.”
Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, the organisers of Airport Show, remarked: “We are pleased there has been such a huge turnout of regional aviation leadership at the event, endorsing its position as the key platform for regional aviation authorities to meet global suppliers and procure the latest product, services, and technologies for their multi-billion dollar developments.”
The trade show was designed for the airport procurement, supplies, solutions and technology for the Middle East region where estimated $100 billion investments, including $40 billion in the six GCC states, have been earmarked for airports expansion and new developments to handle the anticipated growth in air traffic. The Middle East, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA), is expected to record the fastest growth rate of 6.6 per cent until 2016, making it the second-fastest growing aviation market in the world.
Experts says airports in the MENA region, currently under various stages of expansion and upgrades, are projected to cater to 400 million passengers by 2020, with the UAE airports taking one-fourth of the share in the anticipated growth in air passenger traffic.
Supported by Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Dubai Airports, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP), the event has been organized by Reed Exhibitions Middle East under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.