Despite Credit Woes, Middle East Still Hot for Bizjets

 - November 16, 2008, 9:26 AM

While the global economy continues to suffer from the credit crisis, the Middle East is largely insulated from these problems, which bodes well for companies hoping to sell business jets in the region. In fact, the $1 billion estimate of the total value of the annual business jet market in the Middle East “is rather conservative,” Jahid Fazal-Karim, the co-owner of Jetcraft Corp. and the former Bombardier Aerospace senior vice president for worldwide business jet sales, told AIN. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi are essentially impervious to the credit crisis, Fazal-Karim said, while Dubai is somewhat exposed because it relies on foreign investment for real estate development. And as the economies grow in the Middle East, business opportunities have created “secondary wealth” in the region, which he said has resulted in “a much more diverse customer base” over the past few years. While these wealthy entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily looking to buy bizliners like the royals, they are seeking to acquire midsize and large-cabin business jets that can fly nonstop from the Middle East to Europe, Fazal-Karim said. He believes that a supersonic business jet would sell very well in the region.