The Middle East has been the rising star of the aerospace industry over the last two decades bolstered by a natural strategic location and concerted efforts from operators and governments to foster the market. Middle Eastern growth is fuelled by passenger numbers and a clear eastward movement of the global centre of activity.
The Dubai Airshow, taking place 17-21 November at DWC, Dubai Airshow Site, is the ideal location for the industry to take advantage of the associated growth opportunities.
IATA estimates by 2037, the Middle East market will reach 501 million passengers achieved by a CAGR if 4.4%. Airbus predicted in its recent forecast that by 2023 that both UAE based hubs will be in the top 15 Mega Aviation Cities, with Dubai taking the top position.
To attain this status, the UAE is investing in infrastructure, a trend that is seen across the whole Middle East region. Reports suggest there were USD$50 billion worth of aerospace investments underway in 2018; from greenfield airports in Kuwait to upgrades to Bahrain’s air traffic control systems.
As growth in passenger movements continues to grow across the Middle East, increasingly technology has been implemented to manage the progression. IATA has a bold plan to implement globally the ONE ID concept where all of a passenger’s details (passports, flight details, boarding passes) are stored on a single token which can seamlessly be read by airlines, customs and immigration, and even ground transportation. Although it is at the concept stage, Dubai International Airport has been one of the first to adopt the latest screening technology as part of their ‘Smart Tunnel’, launched at the end of 2018.
It is not the only technology the UAE has implemented to manage passenger and traffic movements. They have invested in the Hub Monitor system to allow all departments involved in an aircraft’s movement to track its progress and turn around. Similarly, UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Searidge Technologies to develop Artificial Intelligence in managing its aviation activities to achieve greater efficiencies, safety and commercial outcomes.
“It is clear that the aerospace industry in the Middle East is on the cusp of incredible growth,” said Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director of show organizers Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East.
“When you look at the potential for businesses, it’s no wonder that this year’s Dubai Airshow is expecting a large number of new exhibitors from around the world. The show really is the best global platform for the aerospace industry, and business in the region places a premium on face to face networking, making this year’s show a truly unmissable event,” she added.
New exhibitors to the event this year include technology and solutions focused companies ready to drive the industry forward. Among them are Italian technology providers Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence and aviation services Airports World Company who have recently expanded across the Middle East with the launch of its UAE base. A total of 1,300 exhibitors are expected to the event, attracting up to 87,000 trade attendees across the five days.
“The growth in representation from around the world demonstrates the interest from all sectors of the industry and global reach of the Dubai Airshow,” van Akelijen concluded.