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Boom time for MEA airport construction sector

DUBAI, February 12, 2020

It's boom time for the airport construction and development sector in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Asia regions as the governments race against time to improve the capacity of airports and equip them with the newest technologies for passenger facilitation.

According to the Construction Intelligence Centre (CIC), airport-related construction projects in the Middle East and Africa are valued at $222.3 billion, with $92.8 billion in the execution stage.

In the MEA region, Saudi Arabia leads the airport construction pipeline with projects worth $58.6 billion, followed by the UAE with $57.9 billion.  
 
According to experts, airports across the world are now in the midst of being decongested, expanded and modernised with an impressive bouquet of facilities designed to make them sleek and classy.

In the Middle East and the Gulf region, especially in the UAE, it is a continuous exercise to bring about a quantitative and qualitative transformation in the aviation sector.

Mohammed Abdulla Ahli, director general of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCCA) and CEO of Dubai Air Navigation Services (dans), said as the aviation industry becomes increasingly advanced, the airports have become prime infrastructure requirement to every economy to grow.

The G20’s‭ ‬Global Infrastructure Outlook estimate‬‬d‬ that the airport investment plans of 50‭ ‬countries alone total‬‬led $355‭ ‬billion from 2018 to 2022, but‭ ‬their actual investment needs ‬‬‬‬were more than $433‭ billion‭.‬‬‬‬

For expanding airports like we have in the Middle East, traffic growth poses both an opportunity and a challenge," he stated.

According to experts, the UAE, Arab world’s second biggest economy, will see a whopping Dh1 trillion ($272.1 billion) investment in the sector within the next two decades. The ongoing airport developments in the emirates has been valued at over Dh85 billion ($23.1 billion), they stated.

Assuming all projects proceed as planned, spending will reach $34.2 billion in 2021 and the highest value of project completions will be in 2022 at $52.5 billion, said a report ahead of the three-day Airport Show in Dubai.

The 20th edition of the event will kick off on June 22 with tthe participation of key decision-makers of airports along with aviation experts from more than 375 companies from 94 countries.

The event is expected to draw over 8,500 attendees travelling to take a look at the latest aviation technologies on display from around the world, said the organisers, Reed Exhibitions Middle East.

Daniyal Qureshi, group exhibition director, said: "Considering strong growth in air traffic, many airports are near, at, or even exceeding their design capacities, causing congestion, lower levels of service and frustrated passengers."

In such a situation, the existing infrastructure cannot handle expected growth, he stated.

Angela Gittens, director general of Airports Council International (ACI), whose members operate 1,960 airports in 176 countries, remarked: "‬Existing airport infrastructure in many mature markets will not‭ ‬be able to handle the expected growth‭."

"Investment in airport infrastructure is critical to the global economy‭ ‬and connectivity," she added.

According to Global Data, the ongoing airport construction projects across the globe have been valued at $737.3 billion. Of this, $212 billion is in the planning stage and Asia-Pacific accounts for the highest value with $241.4 billion, followed by the Middle East and Africa with projects valuing about $196.4 billion.

According to IATA, about $1.2 to $1.5 trillion is expected to be spent on global airport infrastructure development up to 2030.-TradeArabia News Service




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