Dubai is aiming to overtake Munich as the home of the world’s largest international airport industry exhibition.As the three-day Airport Build & Supply Exhibition drew towards a close earlier this week, organisers Streamline Marketing Group said the event’s 25% growth this year will be followed by more major expansion in 2007, making it the industry’s largest.
At least 70 more airport suppliers from around the world are expected to boost next year’s overall exhibitor line-up to more than 450, allowing the Dubai event to climb above Munich’s Inter Airport Europe.
The show’s progression mirrors the huge volume of airport development and expansion currently taking place across the Middle East, Africa and Indian Subcontinent, estimated to be worth more than US$40 billion, half of this in the UAE alone. Next year’s Airport Show in Dubai will expand again to feature four new national pavilions for companies from Denmark, Finland, India and Switzerland, while other new sections will concentrate on the key areas of ground handling and airport logistics.
“Dubai is becoming a major logistics hub, particularly with the development of a logistics city as part of the new US$ 8.1 billion Dubai World Central International Airport,” said Laith Kubba, director of Streamline Marketing Group. “We have tremendous additional interest from companies who are eager to capitalise on the growth of airport logistics related business in Dubai, and the region as a whole. As a result we are able to confirm now that there will be a specialist airport logistics pavilion at next year’s Airport Show.”
“At the same time, as a result of strong interest from German, French and British companies in particular, we can also confirm that we will have a dedicated ground handling pavilion next year. There is a huge and growing demand in this part of the world for ground handling equipment, and airport management companies like DNATA will welcome this development.”
In addition to attracting a record number of 374 exhibitors from around the world this week, the Airport Show was comfortably on course to surpass last year’s total of 2,900 trade visitors over the three days, with 2,400 visitors passing through the exhibition halls on the first two days alone.
As the volume and range of airport suppliers attracted by the event grows, so does the presence of airport developers and operators.
In addition to having discussions with senior representatives of the Department of Civil Aviation, Dubai, exhibitors have been able to sit down for pre-arranged business meetings this week with buyers representing civil aviation authorities in Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Ghana, Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ras Al Khaimah, Mauritius, Nepal, Thailand and Sudan.
With billions of dollars worth of business at stake, the award of contracts will generally follow in the weeks and months ahead, although there were some immediate successes. Copperchase, the UK- based Air Traffic Control systems, services and solutions suppliers, announced they had won a contract for an ATC messaging system to be installed at Ras Al Khaimah Airport. The company said the deal was secured after several weeks of work with their Sharjah based agents, Aviation Management & Consultancy Services (AMACS).
Adding to the show’s success, the seminar programme staged for a second year increased the overall value of the event both for exhibitors, and visitors, with international experts examining a wide range of industry issues, including the growing importance of fire risk management at modern airports.