Dubai Airport Show opens

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Running successfully into its eleventh year, the Airport Show opened on Tuesday at the Dubai Airport Expo Centre. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, inaugurated the event that has the potential to generate huge orders in the wake of brisk airport developments under way in the GCC and the Middle East.

This show, designed to cater to the needs of existing and new airports in the region, drew more than 160 exhibitors and scores of buyers, underscoring the vibrant growth the aviation industry in the region, particularly the UAE. A growth of 10.2% is expected in the UAE aviation market by 2013, predicts the International Air Transport Association (IATA); UAE being only second to China which is expected to grow by 10.8%. As per the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, the first quarter of the year saw a 9% increase in air traffic across UAE airspace, a region projected to handle over 400 million passengers by 2020.

Organizers Reed Exhibitions Middle East said among the leading investors in airport development activity in the Gulf are Dubai, which has allocated $10 billion, Abu Dhabi, which has allocated $6.8 billion, Qatar with $11 billion, Jeddah with $1.5 billion, Muscat with $1.2 billion, Kuwait $2.1 billion and Bahrain $335 million.

A leading project that will take the center-stage during the show is King Abdulaziz International Airportthat will aim to source state-of-the-art technology and construction materials for its estimated spending of $11.3 billion towards its expansion, organisers said. Running alongside the exhibition is the two-day Airport Leaders Summit which ends today. Dr Khaled Al Mazrouei, General Manager of Fujairah International Airport and the Chairman of the Airport Leaders Summit 2011 said over the last decade, Middle Eastern carriers had boosted their share of the global passenger traffic from 5 to 11 percent.

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