Airport development in the Middle East, Africa and Indian Subcontinent shows no sign of slowing with an estimated $60 billion (Dh220bn) in planned and ongoing projects. Fuelled by strong economic growth and increased passenger traffic, the region is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world.
Major projects currently under way in the Gulf include the $8.2bn (Dh30.1bn) Dubai World International Airport at Jebel Ali, which has been rechristened Al Maktoum International Airport, the $6.8bn (Dh24.9bn) expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport, the $5.5bn (Dh20.1bn) New Doha International Airport and the $11.3bn (Dh41.7bn) upgrade of King Abdul Aziz, Madinah and Tabuk airports in Saudi Arabia.
In Africa, $3bn (Dh11bn) has been earmarked to expand Libya’s Tripoli International Airport and build five new airports, $850m (Dh3.1bn) will be spent on airport projects in Egypt including Cairo International Airport and $725m (Dh2.6bn) on Tambo and Johannesburg International Airports and other developments in South Africa.
To match the continuing demand for airport supplies, the Airport Show has expanded its exhibition programme and preparations are well under way for its return to the Airport Expo Dubai in 2008. The show is expected to attract 750 of the world’s leading airport and aviation suppliers, making it one of the largest airport construction, operations, technology and services shows in the world.
“In the Middle East alone, airport developments and expansions are worth in excess of $37bn (Dh135.7bn),” said Nick Webb, Director of Streamline Marketing Group, organisers of the Airport Show.
Now in its eighth year, the annual event is held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Group. It attracts a targeted audience of regional civil aviation departments, officials, VIPs, consultants and contractors behind many of the region’s airport developments, in addition to ground handlers and airline representatives.
In 2008, the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation will use the event to source suppliers for the $33bn (Dh121bn) Dubai World Central project.