Global giants eye GCC airports contract
Dubai, February 7, 2012
The massive airports expansion projects underway in the UAE and other Gulf states have been attracting international aviation firms to the region as airport operators look for technology and services to handle future growth volumes, said an expert.
Germany is in the forefront of the competition to get a bigger slice of multi-billion dollar business opportunities offered by the phased expansions of the airports in the UAE, Saudi, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.
Dieter A. Heinz, president of German Airport Technology and Equipment (Gate), the German umbrella association for quality airport suppliers, said Dubai was the ‘city of future’ and the UAE aviation sector’s amazing achievements and plans offers tremendous growth opportunities for the global aviation industry at a time when it was grappling with uncertainties and challenges.
Gate is gearing up for a major role at this year’s Airport Show, which runs from May 22 to 24 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The show will have the participation of over 200 multinational companies, including more than 20 German airport technology companies showcasing their latest products and services to the regional industry decision-makers whose search for innovative technology to meet the future growth demands remains unending.
Jamal Al Hai, executive senior VP for Communications and International Affairs at Dubai Airports, said the show comes at a time when the UAE is planning to invest Dh500 billion ($136 billion) into the country's airport projects to boost their capacity to 250 million passengers by 2020, including $8 billion for Dubai International development.
Gate has been participating at the Airport Show every year since its launch in 2001. The first display of German Airport equipment in Dubai was already in 1981, said show organisers Reed Exhibitions.
“We consider the Airport Show to be one of the most important trade exhibitions to reach out the highly-promising regional markets,' remarked Heinz.
'The idea is to encourage with a German Pavilion small and medium-sized German companies to enter the local and regional markets, where the aviation sector is the most important economic sectors in the world, also for the benefit of the customers,' he noted.
Heinz was in Dubai to hold discussions with the Airport Show organisers about the participation of German companies. He strongly believes that the Middle East will remain one of the biggest markets for the global aviation industry in terms of new aircraft sales and airport expansions.
He pointed out that Germany was in a better position than many other European countries in terms of economic stability, exports growth and accommodating changes brought in by global economic crisis and persistent Euro debt problems.
'German companies in the UAE or member-companies of Gate are strong, have a good backlog of orders and do not complain so far about business falling,' he added.
Mohamad Badereddin, show director, Reed Exhibitions, said the GCC region offers great possibilities of future growth and finances for the aviation industry given its investments in airports developments and purchase of aircrafts by fastest-growing airlines like Emirates, Etihad, flydubai, Air Arabia and Qatar Airways.
In the UAE, which has the highest number of international airports after Saudi Arabia, billions of dollar are projected to be pumped into the aviation domain, thereby supporting the local economy and the global aviation industry in the coming years, he said.
Badereddin said the participating companies are expected to sign deals worth millions of dollar during the airport show.-TradeArabia News Service