Aviation’s big impact on Dubai’s economy

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Aviation to contribute $53.1 billion to Dubai’s economy, 37.5% to its GDP and will support over 750,000 jobs by 2020

Emirates Airline
Aviation to contribute $53.1 billion to Dubai’s economy, 37.5% to its GDP and will support over 750,000 jobs by 2020. Photo courtesy-Emirates

According to the latest Oxford Economics Report, the aviation sector is all set to play an important role in shaping Dubai’s economy.  The aviation section contributed USD26.7 billion (27%) to the Dubai economy in 2013 and supported a total of 416,500 jobs.

HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, Chairman of Dubai Airports and President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority said that Dubai’s success is no accident and the fact that it is a global aviation hub is a resultant of clear vision, careful planning and collaborative execution.

“It has taken us years to build up the critical competencies and infrastructure that we have today, and we now have a solid base on which to further develop. We will continue to take a consensus-based approach to infrastructure investment, embrace open competition, and focus on opening up and connecting markets through efficient operations. At the end, we want Dubai to be the top choice for international travellers and traders – as a destination, and as a transport hub,” said  Sheikh Ahmed.

INFOGRAPHIC – Economic and Employment Impact of aviation in Dubai (click on the image to view bigger size)

INFOGRAPHIC - Economic and Employment Impact of aviation in Dubai
INFOGRAPHIC – Economic and Employment Impact of aviation in Dubai. Image courtesy-Emirates

Key Statistics

Dubai currently captures a 0.4% share of the world’s business and tourism traffic, double the share it had in 2000.

Undoubtedly, aviation is an indispensable catalyst for the growth of Dubai’s tourism industry. Tourism and travel activities contributed USD10.2 billion gross value added towards Dubai’s economy supporting a further 157,100 jobs. The year 2013 also saw nearly 10 million non-UAE visitors who spent $13 billion, accounting for around 1% of foreign visitor spend globally that year.Dubai had direct passenger flight connections to 149 cities with populations of over 1 million people, creating potential export markets of over 916 million people, or 13% of the world’s population. Cargo tonnage between 1990-2013 handled in Dubai has grown on average of 13.5% per year, compared to global average trade volumes of 5.6% per year.

2014 and 2020: Aviation sector to grow at a faster rate than Dubai’s economy  as a whole

The aviation industry is all set to beat the economy in terms of rate of growth on the back of strong growth in international passenger traffic and cargo. Using industry growth forecasts and modelling projections based on current expansion plans for Dubai International (DXB) and Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC), it is estimated that the overall economic impact of both aviation and tourism related activities will rise to a robust $53.1 billion in 2020. This will be equivalent to 37.5% of Dubai’s GDP, supporting over 754,500 Dubai-based jobs.

Interestingly, by 2020, it is estimated that Emirates Airlines alone will fly 70 million passengers. The same year, Dubai expects to welcome over 20 million visitors for Expo 2020. A sizable increase in airport capacity  has been planned which encompasses expansion of airspace, airfield, stands and terminal areas to allow Dubai International to accommodate 60% more aircraft stands by 2015, and service 90 million passengers by 2018.

By 2020, Dubai International is estimated to receive 126.5 million passengers, almost 30% higher than its original 2010 assessments.The total economic impact of aviation by 2030 is projected to grow to $88.1 billion and will support 1,194,700 jobs.

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