Dubai: The Airport Show 2013 is expected to feature latest airport technologies lined up for the region’s airports. The equipment technology services and airport construction show, an annual event, has gone up by 15 per cent this year over the last year in terms of size, according to the show’s event director, Daniyal Quraishi.
Asked the value and volume of deals this year’s show is expected to yield, Quraishi told Gulf News: “The show acts as a facilitator of business deals. However, we don’t measure it in those terms.”
He added that the show, to be held at Dubai World Trade Centre from May 6-8, has gone up 15 per cent in size this year, to 11,000 plus square metres, up from 9,800 square metres in 2012.
The 13th edition of the show will also see a marginal jump in the number of companies participating this year to more than 220 compared to 210 companies last year, Quraishi said.
Similarly, visitor numbers are also expected to exceed 6,000 this year compared to 5,400 in 2012, he said.
Asked about the reason for the increase, Quraishi said: “Overall, the sentiment has changed in Dubai and the UAE. Business is getting back on track and new aviation [and related] projects are being announced.”
Quoting a study, he said that more than $100 billion (Dh367 billion) is being invested into the development of airports in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region [excluding India]. “And this is spread over the next 10-15years.”
Quoting a study, the show’s organisers, Reed Exhibitions, said in a statement that airports across the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) are expected to handle as much as “250 million passengers by 2020”, as Dubai is set to become the world’s busiest airport by 2015. Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways put together will have the capacity to carry nearly 200 million passengers, four times their current capacity. And by 2015, the Dubai, Doha, and Abu Dhabi airports are due to reach an annual capacity of 190 million passengers.
The report further highlights that the Middle East will have the third fastest passenger growth rate of 6.6 per cent by 2016.
“By 2025, seven billion people will be reachable by a single flight while the total aircraft movements in the Middle East will reach 2.3 million in 2025,” said Quraishi.
He added that some of the key things that the airport show this year will focus on include showcasing new technologies at the region’s airports over the coming two to three years. “We will also focus on non-aeronautical revenue. That has been gaining significance. Dubai Airports, for instance, has done a great job with non-aeronautical revenue, having accrued Dh1.6 billion in 2012,” Quraishi pointed out.
Further, gearing up to meet the rise in passenger traffic, the region’s airlines will be increasing their capacity by 12.8 per cent in 2013, according to industry estimates, while International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) expects the air traffic in the region to grow 5.2 per cent annually until 2030.