Dubai Air Show

Ground Handling Improves

 - December 6, 2006, 1:03 PM

According to Universal Weather, ground handling in the Middle East has improved, driven by increased traffic and expectations of higher levels of service. Dubai, which serves a higher volume of business aviation traffic than most other Middle East destinations, remains the standard bearer.

Nevertheless, flight handlers offer some warnings that may not seem instinctive to Western visitors:

• Prior to arrival, stow and lock up ll alcohol and leave it locked until after departure.

• Be aware that certain literature may be considered offensive and should not be left in plain sight. Locking it away with the alcohol is a good practice.

• Certain foods–pork, in particular–offend Muslim officials or visitors o the aircraft. Again, lock it away with the alcohol and literature. In fact, when ordering catering for a trip to the Middle East, it is best simply not to order any pork products.

• When entering and departing Israel, ask officials not to stamp your passport, but rather to stamp a page that can be stapled into your passport and torn out after your departure. An Israeli stamp in your passport may present difficulties when entering some Middle East countries.

• Prior to departure, obtain an updated security brief that will help determine whether you require additional protection.

• Women should be aware of varying local customs and laws that dictate modest public appearance and access to certain facilities. In some of the stricter Muslim countries, women should avoid traveling alone, and if they must go out in public, should be in the company of an adult male.

• Expect some delays with customs and immigration services and build in additional time so you do not appear rushed.

• In some countries, arrange for reputable ground transportation and avoid taxis or other modes of public transportation.