Dubai will host the first Global Investment in Aviation Summit (GIAS), a major aviation conference to be attended by the world’s 500 top aviation investors, as the UAE emerges as the region’s biggest aviation hubs. The two-day summit will be held from 27-28 January 2019.
The high-profile delegates from 40 countries will include 20 aviation ambassadors, ten knowledge partners, 200 aviation officials and 300 investors brainstorming throughout the three days.
The conference will take place as the UAE authorities are investing AED85 billion (US$23.16 billion) in airport development and expansion that will see its airports handle develop combined capacity to handle over 300 million passengers per year.
These include AED30 billion ($8 billion) in developing Al Maktoum International Airport, AED28 billion ($7.6 billion) expansion of the Phase IV of Dubai International Airport, AED25 billion ($6.8 billion) re-development and expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport – many of which are supported by the banks and financial institutions. In addition Sharjah International Airport is also undergoing a AED1.5 billion investment in expansion of its terminal.
In a statement, Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, said: “I am delighted to be here today as we prepare for the Global Investment in Aviation Summit. This summit is very close to UAE’s heart, as we have much to be proud of as a nation, from our humble aviation beginnings to now one of the biggest passenger hubs in the world.”
“Our airlines and airports have been ranking consistently as among the best internationally. On compliance level, UAE ranked as a top member state of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The Global Investment in Aviation Summit is the UAE’s testament on how far we have achieved and of our commitment to push the nation to be a global pioneer in this field. The glass ceiling is not too high to break as we have mounted unimaginable innovations,” he added.
The UAE has 14 airports, air strips and airfields served by 113 airlines with a total annual take-off and landings exceeding 540,000.
In addition, the four UAE airlines are also investing billions of dollars in acquiring the latest aircraft models that will help the UAE economy to grow. All these developments need funding and the financial institutions and investors are also expanding their capabilities to support the economic growth.
The summit is held at a time when the region’s aviation industry rides high on efficiency and performance. Emirates Group posted a profit of AED4.1 billion (US$1.1 billion) for the financial year ended 31st March 2018, up 67 percent from the previous year.
The combined fleet size of the four UAE airlines reached 502, including Emirates fleet of 268, Etihad Airways’ 120, FlyDubai’s 61 and Air Arabia’s 53. The UAE airlines add between 4-5 aircraft per month and the total combined fleet size of the UAE’s four airlines would cross 525 by the end of 2018. The UAE airlines have more than 300 more aircraft on order to join their fleets.
Al Suwaidi went on to say that the UAE is the largest airline market and aviation hub in the Middle East and North Africa, adding that "it is still the most vibrant market where the airlines are adding new aircraft every month to their fleet."
He said, the Summit will also offer the local market, from within the aviation industry and its related sectors, a great opportunity to expand their business operations from fresh investments generated from the summit. GIAS 2019 will be a specialised and focused gathering where the local market can network with investors to present their ideas and projects.
The GIAS will feature International governments investment proposals delivered by key government officials and private sector top executives and will provide attending financiers with a fact and figure checked perspective on ongoing and future projects.