The “tentative” dates for the new Middle East Business Aviation Association’s planned regional convention are tentative no more.
Founding chairman Ali Al Naqbi said that MEBAA has signed an agreement with Fairs & Exhibitions (F&E), which organizes the Dubai air show, for an annual Middle East Business Aviation conference and exhibition to be held at the Airport Expo Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from Jan. 31 through Feb. 1, 2007.
More than 30 executive jets are expected to be on static display and some 50 companies have confirmed interest in exhibiting. “The conference will be a crucial forum in identifying the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities existing in this lucrative sector,” said Al Naqbi, “and initiating the means of addressing them.” Aircraft buyers and industry operators are the two key audiences for the conference.
The association provides a forum for expressing the needs of operators of approximately 320 aircraft based in the region, a number that is expected to increase. “As we speak,” said Al Naqbi, “contracts are being signed.” MEBAA is also a forum for suppliers that service these operators and those that fly to the region.
MEBAA, based in Dubai, also provides a single entity for presenting the face of business aviation to government, the media and industry.
The first board meeting was held September 20, when executive and budgetary committees were formed.
Initial founding members include Kurt Locher of Jet Aviation, Stephan Mallett of National Air Services, Omar Barayan of BexAir, Steven Hill of Boeing Business Jets, Philip Markham of Falcon Aviation Services, Christopher Crum of Royal Jet, Adel Mardini of JetEx Flight Support, Ruedi Kraft of Gulfstream, Richard Gaona of Airbus Corporate Jets and David Barrette of Emirates–CAE Flight Training. [Mr. Gaona’s name is spelled incorrectly on page 57.–Ed.]