The 17th edition of the Airport Show, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airlines and Group, concluded with resounding success with more than 7,200 attendees from aviation industry worldwide. Reflecting a strong confidence in Middle East’s aviation sector and the Airport Show, more than 50 per cent of the exhibitors confirmed their participation for the next year.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed said: “The aviation industry expansion in the Middle East continues to surpass average global growth rates. Future projections are equally promising and are behind the ongoing and considerable investment in aircraft, technology and infrastructure.
The Airport Show brings together solution providers from around the world giving them the opportunity to explore the latest trends and bring forward innovative products and services designed to support ongoing industry growth and service enhancements.”
More than 300 exhibitors from 50 countries showcased a wide line-up of latest smart and innovative technologies and solutions during the 3-day show, which has established itself as the world’s largest annual B2B event.
Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, organisers for the Airport Show, said: “The unprecedented success of the Airport Show is a testament to the strong growth in the aviation industry in Middle East and the investment to the tune of billions of dollars toward expansion programmes, which are fueling global aviation growth. The collaborative opportunities approach if regional authorities and integrators with neighbouring authorities and global suppliers facilitates unparalleled opportunities.
We are proud to announce that more than 50 per cent of the exhibitors have booked for the next year’s Airport Show, which will be held from May 8-10, 2018.”
The 17th edition of the Airport Show had the largest ever international representation with eight dedicated country pavilions, for global participants to showcase and launch their products, services and solutions.
The exhibitors said Airport Show 2017 helped them strengthen their existing business relations and they also received serious business enquiries.
As Airport Show grew from strength to strength over the years, many exhibitors celebrated their long association with the iconic aviation event, also mirroring the opportunities generated with the strong growth of Middle East’s aviation industry .
The German Pavillion, the largest pavilion with 34 exhibitors, celebrated the 17th year of its participation at the Airport Show this year. Dieter Heinz, President of the German Association for Airport Technology and Equipment (GATE), founder of German Pavilion in Airport Show and an aviation industry veteran, said: “Dubai, in particular, the UAE and the Middle East, are among the most important markets for airport technology for us as they are always looking for the best technology and advanced systems. During these years of our participation at the Airport Show, there is a cooperation on both sides and the German companies have understood the requirements of the region, which they develop and bring the solutions and the technology to suit those requirements.
There is a local appreciation of the quality and reliability and confidence in German technology and in our association, we have not only catered on a large scale but also for small companies.”
He added, “Airport Show is one of the most attended aviation events and the show has grown over the years. We are very happy with our association and certainly look forward to our participation in the show next year.”
The France Pavilion, which made its first appearance at the Airport Show nine years ago, featured 14 exhibitors, providing the participants of the world’s leading B2B event for the airport industry the opportunity to gain insights into their latest portfolio of products and expertise in different domains.
The SWISS Pavilion was organised by T-LINK, which serves export oriented Swiss companies as an ideal networking platform to access the local market or to extend present business relationships.
The Swiss and UK pavilions included 12 exhibitors each this year. The North American pavilion had seven exhibitors, while the China, Denmark and Benelux pavilions had 23 exhibitors.
The Business Connect programme at the Airport Show, that witnessed participation from over 200 buyers from more than 50 regional authorities, provided unparalleled opportunities to the participants.
Reed Exhibitions Middle East said there were more than 1,500 meetings every day during the show.
The 4th World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo Middle East (WTCEME), concluded successfully with exhibitors exploring new opportunities generated with the strong growth in the region’s aviation sector.
The Middle East region commands a big chunk in the global travel catering market, estimated at $15 billion and expected to increase to $17.6 billion by 2020. The region’s share in the global travel catering market has been fast rising above the global average growth of five per cent due to massive expansion of airports and airline networks.
More than 70 exhibitors showcased a wide range of travel catering services and solutions, including food, snacks, beverages, food packaging, processing, preparation and preservation equipment, tableware and chinaware, accessories, toiletries and travel amenities at the WTCEME.
Adriano Buono, Sales Manager, Laurieri, said the exhibition was good this time. “We met a couple of people and expect business deals later-on.”
The company already supplies its products to big airlines such as Al Italia, Air France, Swiss Air Austrian Airlines, and Saudi Airlines among others.
Buono mentioned that the company will participate in this exhibition next year. This year, it was their second participation.
Another Italian company Forno Damiani showcased their signature items at the show. Rita Preziotti, Marketing Manager of Italy’ leading snacks company launched its new products at the exhibition. “We introduced a new range of seven products at the exhibition. This is our first time and the exhibition was good to connect with aviation industry people,” she said.
Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF)
Aviation leaders and experts highlighted key aviation industry issues, challenges and opportunities for the industry worldwide during the 5th Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF), co0located with the Airport Show.
The aviation industry experts highlighted that the industry is facing short-term and long-term challenges and there are also opportunities on increasing travel demand in the wake of competitive price on lower oil price.
Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Airports, in his keynote address, talked about oil price, global economy, political unrest and consumer confidence as short-term factors. “If oil price goes up it will be another problem for the industry,” Griffiths said.
He added that technology, urbanisation, economic balance of power and resource scarcity are the long-term factors. He appreciated the role of technology to increase the customer experience at the airports.
The cost of infrastructure improvement is phenomenally high for any airport, he said adding that smart technology can play an important role to improve the capacity and service.
Dubai invested around $7.8 billion during the last two years to improve the infrastructure. “We are planning to increase the capacity of Dubai Airports to 118 million passengers by 2023 and we are expecting the number of passengers to increase at both the airports to 90 million by the end of 2017,” said Griffiths.
Dubai International ranked the world’s busiest airport for international traffic.
Aviation sector is contributing a lot to Dubai’s GDP and also creating a lot of employment opportunities. He mentioned that the aviation will contribute $88.1 billion or 45 per cent of the Dubai GDP by 2030.
During another key-note address, General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Deputy Director General Omar Bin Ghaleb talked about UAE Aviation Outlook 2025. He hoped that by 2025 the country will successfully address many of the challenges to the industry by adopting corrective measures.
Aviation industry is going through a lot of changes in the wake of some uncertainties but it is a very interesting place to be, said Peter Harbison, Executive Chairman of CAPA- Centre for Aviation.
Women in Aviation
Women in Aviation Middle East, hosted its 2nd General Assembly of Women in Aviation, held during the Airport Show.
The general assembly was attended by eminent international women aviation leaders, aviation industry professionals and women aspiring to join aviation sector. The general assembly and career orientation programme provided the participants an opportunity to get inspired and hear women who are motivating millions with their success in this sector.
Among the sessions were a special panel on ‘Inspirational Stories’ of the most successful and talented women in aviation around the world who have made it to the top of their organisations, a session exploring the wide spectrum of roles in aviation, as well as a practical guide on how to excel in these roles for aspiring young professionals, a presentation on key developments that will shape the Middle East’s future aviation landscape and the economic stimulus these will create for the region and a panel discussion on preparing the aviation leaders of tomorrow. The 17th Airport Show was supported by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP), Dubai Airports, dnata, Supply Chain and Logistics Group (SCLG) of Middle East and UAE Contractors’ Association, alongwith with emaratech as the gold sponsor, FMT as the silver sponsor and Huawei as the ICT Partner.