If ever there was a sign that life is returning now to what was our normal, then some developments and milestones passed earlier this week will serve as very welcome portends. Yes, we must still be vigilant in keeping up our public health defences against coronavirus, but there is every reason to smile knowing that Dubai’s place on the global stage is approaching pre-pandemic status.
For all of us who live in the UAE and certainly for every international air traveller who has ever passed through Dubai International, the emirate and its facilities are closely associated with travel and the airline industry.
Indeed, before the pandemic hit, one third of Dubai’s Gross Domestic Product was linked to activities directly related to the aviation sector. Getting back to normal means getting that sector and everything related to it, back up and running – it is mission critical.
DXB is one of the world’s busiest airport in terms of passengers flying in and out. Covid-19 – and the pandemic essentially resulted in the virtual mothballing of the global airline industry for months. DXB is now back on its rightful perch as the world’s busiest airport with the release of the latest travel figures. Within days, the last remaining concourse at the airport will re-open – a very welcome and positive indication indeed that the airport is flying full capacity once more.
In the first month of Expo, more than 2.7 million have visited the mega exhibition, a sure driver in increasing passenger footfall at DXB. And with the UAE hosting the T20 World Cup, cricket fans too have added to the number of travellers passing through the airport. But the outlook is certainly positive, and that familiarity of a busy airport bodes very well.
Given that aviation accounted for one third of GDP in the emirate, the Dubai Air Show on the global calendar was always the key event on the global aviation calendar. It was an event where billions of dollars in deals were done as the industry and its related sectors gathered to see the latest innovations and aircraft.
The Air Show is back and set to be the largest in-person aerospace event this year. That’s a testament to Dubai’s response to the pandemic, as Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates airline has rightly noted. Yes, there is wind beneath Dubai’s wings once more.