Dubai to welcome 70m passengers in 2014
Dubai, May 11, 2014
Dubai airport will see 70 million passengers throughput in 2014 despite the 80-day runway closure which prompted several airlines curtailing their operations or moving their flight operations to either Al Maktoum Airport or Sharjah, said a top official.
Ranked the world’s second busiest airport for international passengers, Dubai International Airport handled over 66 million passengers in 2013. Dubai is slated to take over the mantle of world’s busiest airport for international passengers from London Heathrow next year on the back of growth in air traffic, remarked Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman of Dubai Airports and chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group.
Sheikh Ahmed was speaking after opening The Airport Show 2014, a leading event devoted to airport construction, operations, technology and services, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) on Sunday.
The event is expected to attract about 7,000 aviation industry professionals drawn from 50 countries over the next three days.
Accompanied by senior officials of regional airports and civil aviation authorities, Sheikh Ahmed cut the ceremonial ribbon and went on a tour of Dubai’s iconic aviation industry exhibition which occupies about 12,600 sq m of gross exhibition space in three halls at the DICEC.
Speaking to the media, Sheikh Ahmed said: "Dubai, which aims to increase the aviation sector’s contribution to the GDP to 32 per cent by 2020, will continue to invest in aviation infrastructure to cope up with the anticipated growth in air passengers and cargo movements in the coming years."
At the start of the tour, he visited the Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) stand featuring a 3D model of the Dubai World Central (DWC) which is developed in phases as the world’s first aerotropolis to house the world’s biggest airport handling 160 million passengers annually when fully complete by 2020.
The next on the stop was the Siemens stand where he was shown the latest innovation in passenger baggage handling systems by the German technology giant.
Located along side was the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA-Dubai) and emaratech stand featuring the Smart Gates which are being installed in a phased programme at the Dubai International and Al Maktoum International airports to facilitate hassle-free flow of passengers for passport and immigration control procedures.
At each stand, Sheikh Ahmed spent considerable time to learn about the exhibitor’s portfolio of products and services and spoke to the representatives of the participating companies.
"The coming together of exhibitors from across all the geographical regions for the Airport Show-2014 in big numbers than the previous editions clearly reflects the global interest in the Middle East region’s booming aviation sector with the UAE in general and Dubai in particular leading the pack,"remarked Sheikh Ahmed.
“We are in the midst of a long and meaningful journey with many more milestones to cross. We remain strongly committed to aviation’s growth and our investments and developments in this crucial economic sector remain strong and unfaltering as ever before,” he remarked.
This year’s show, which runs until May 13, has grown substantially in terms of exhibition space, number of exhibitors, hosted buyers and registered delegates, reflecting the renewed global enthusiasm in the region’s booming aviation markets and positive global economic scenario and dynamic business environment.
Since its launch in 2001, the Airport Show has been transformed into a successful platform for the aviation industry professionals to explore the latest technology and innovation along with developing networking and new business prospects.
Sold out days ahead of its opening, the trade show is 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 Sheikh Ahmed, who is also the chairman of the Higher Committee for World Expo which will be held in Dubai in 2020 attracting an estimated 25 million visitors during the six month run of the world’s third biggest event after Olympics and FIFA World Cup.
“The event mirrors the aviation industry’s robust growth and the region’s economic resilience. Billions are being invested to provide the additional airport capacity required to accommodate the anticipated demand,” he stated.
The show has recorded a nine per cent growth in the gross exhibition space which stood at 12,600 sq m. The number of exhibitors surged 11 per cent to reach the 250 mark, said the organisers.
The exhibitors have come from 39 countries, including eight new entrants-Estonia, India, Libya, Luxemburg, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Thailand.
Repeat exhibitors accounts for 64 per cent of the total exhibitors at the sold-out 2014 edition, reflecting the strong standing and unfaltering appeal of the show among the global companies to tap the high-potential regional markets through the business networking and new customer base at the show and its two co-located events, Travel Catering Expo (TCE) and Global Airport Leaders’ Forum (GALF), they added.
The immense potential offered by the show to global companies for successfully tapping new business and sales leads from the regional airports and civil aviation bodies is amply amplified through the successful running of the Hosted Buyers Programme since 2009.
The B2B initiative, 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.
They have come from Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and the UAE, said the organisers.-TradeArabia News Service