Dubai: The aviation sector now contributes more than Dh145 billion ($39.47 billion) to the UAE’s economy, or 14.7 per cent to the national GDP, according to Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline & Group and Chairman of Dubai Airports.
“This contribution is projected to grow further in the coming years and as such justifies the country’s huge investment in airports and airline networks. Aviation and logistics have had a major impact on other economic sectors such as tourism, hospitality, trade and finance, and activity in one spurs growth in the others,” Shaikh Ahmed was quoted as saying in the press statement.
At present, aviation sector contributes “nearly $22 billion [Dh80.91 billion], or 28 per cent to Dubai’s gross domestic product, also plays a key role in diversifying the emirate’s economy,” a press statement noted.
“Dubai has set a successful model,” said Raju Menon, a Managing partner at Morrison Menon, who is based in Dubai.
There are five national airlines in the nearly 8-million-population, and all of them are growing.
In other countries in the region, nearly $190 billion (Dh700 billion) were allocated to invest in the airports, in what Menon described as “realistic and justified” figures.
Passengers’ traffic in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has also grown by an average of 10 per cent annually during the period of 2002 and 2010.
At the same time, Middle East airports are expected to receive nearly 400 million passengers by 2020, according to aviation officials.
In May, Dubai hosts “the Middle East’s largest event dedicated to airport technologies, operations and infrastructure”. The annual Airport Show 2013, which will be the 13th to be organised in Dubai, is expected to witness a 20 per cent increase from last year’s show in terms of participating companies and visitors, according to a statement received by Gulf News.
Some countries, including Germany, Switzerland, France and China will participate in this year’s show with a national booths, while Malaysia will participate for the first time with its national one.
Last year, 211 participants representing 32 countries took part in the Airport Show.
Growing up for aviation
Dubai is currently executing its planned investment of $7.73 billion to implement the fourth phase of Dubai Airport expansion and increase its capacity to over 90 million passengers annually to meet the future growth needs. Dubai’s air passenger traffic has doubled in the last five years, and its airport is now the world’s third largest.
Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) is ploughing in a similar amount $6.8 billion to expand annual capacity to 40 million passengers – the project is expected to be completed by 2015-2016.
Saudi Arabia has signed a deal to invest approximately Dh27 billion on the new airport project in Jeddah, while expansions are also in place in Riyadh and other regional airports.
In Oman, the Mcat and Salalah airports are being developed at a total cost of Dh1.2 billion to handle 48 to 10 million passengers, annually.
in Kuwait, it has jt unveiled a whopping $6 billion expansion plan with a plan to expand the airport’s capacity from six million passengers per year to 20 million passengers per year and turn the airport into a major passenger and cargo hub.
Qatar has announced plans to spend another $2 billion in addition to the $15.5 billion already allocated for the Doha airport expansion.