EBACE Convention News

Growth predicted for MEBA as show returns for round two

 - May 18, 2008, 12:26 AM

The prolific growth of the Middle East market for business aviation is expected to be very evident at the second Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) conference and exhibition later this year. Organizers predict the three-day event, to be staged at Dubai’s Airport Expo Center November 16 to 18, will represent a more than 60-percent increase on the scale of the first MEBA conference, held in January 2007.

According to MEBA organizer Fairs & Exhibitions, it expects 150 exhibitors for the November event, up from the 90 that exhibited in 2007. It projects exhibit floor space to be almost 27,000 sq ft, chalets to number 25 and more than 60 aircraft to be on display. It also anticipates 4,000 visitors, compared with 2,400 in 2007, and based on current market trends, it seems probable that aircraft orders logged there will exceed the first show’s $1 billion tally.

MEBA is backed by the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), which boasts more than 60 members, a number it expects to grow to 300 over the next four years. The organization is based in Dubai under the leadership of president and CEO Ammar Balkar and chairman Ali Al Naqbi.

Representatives from both MEBA and MEBAA are here at EBACE (Booth No. 200), promoting the November event (www.meba.aero), which also features a full conference program supported by senior local aviation officials, including HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Department of Civil Aviation.
Dubai’s Airport Expo Center also will be the site, next month, of the new Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) exhibition, organized by Fairs & Exhibitions and scheduled for June 16 to 17 (www.aime.aero). This event will feature executive and VIP cabin interiors, in-flight entertainment and catering, as well as airline interior specialists.

Among the operators who have committed to participate in the exhibition’s “hosted buyer” program so far are Afriqiyah Airlines, Air Maroc, Kuwait Airways, Etihad, Emirates, Royal Jet, Amiri Flight and Gulf Air. MEBAA is responsible for inviting VIP cabin interior buyers from the Middle East to attend AIME as its guests.

Business aircraft manufacturers including Embraer and Cessna are among the confirmed exhibitors. Organizers expect the event, which will also feature a conference program, to draw up to 70 exhibitors. It will feature national pavilions for France, Germany and the U.S.