2020 will be a good year for business aviation in the MENA region, according to Ali Alnaqbi, Founding & Executive Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA). With the MEBAA Show 2020 taking place in December, the event is perfectly timed to lead the industry in this year of opportunity.
Alnaqbi stated that the business aviation sector in the MENA region is achieving a positive growth rate of around eight to nine percent, higher than the global growth estimate of four to six percent, pointing out that the UAE has become the sector leader in the region.
“2020 will be a milestone in the history of business aviation and private aviation in the Middle East region in general, and in the UAE in particular, as a result of Expo 2020,” Alnaqbi said. He added, “The air traffic in Dubai is currently around 15,000 movements, and this is expected to double to at least 30,000 due to the event.”
There are two main driving factors for this growth, according to Alnaqbi: the official delegations travelling to the country for the expo, and the companies and business leaders attending the event.
The number of aircraft registered in the UAE market is almost 25% of the 600 aircraft registered in the Middle East. Investments in the sector are difficult to quantify as they are distributed among airlines, operators and buildings as well as airports. However Alnaqbi says the volume in the UAE is estimated at between $800 million and $900 million annually, with a contribution to GDP of around two to three percent.
In addition, the industry will benefit from government support for growth. The aviation sector is one of the main strategic sectors, targeted by government plans. It seeks to build a strong and sustainable economy, based on the diversification of sources of national income, and build a post-oil economy.
The MEBAA Show will take place 8-10 December 2020 at DWC, Dubai Airshow Site, and is expecting 500 exhibitors and 10000 trade attendees throughout the three days.
Among the companies already exhibiting at the MEBAA Show 2020 are Airbus Corporate Jets, Dassault Aviation, Gulfstream and Embraer, in addition to many other industry leaders. The event attracts key decision makers and VVIPs along with the whole supply chain of the business aviation industry.
“It's very important to be close to our customers and to be part of the MEBAA Show,” Benoit Defforge, President of Airbus Corporate Jets, said at the last MEBAA Show. He added, “The Middle East is the number one market for ACJ and MEBAA Show is a very interesting venue because we have the proximity of the booths, the chalets and the aircaft.”
“2020 will be the year of business aviation in the Middle East and North Africa,” says Alnaqbi. He continues, “The MEBAA Show 2020 is the ideal platform for the entire industry to be part of it. I look forward to welcoming the key players in business aviation to Dubai in December 2020.”