Business aviation will be an important facet of the new Bahrain Airshow to be staged in the Arabian Gulf state from January 21 to 23, 2010. The show will feature purpose-built chalets in front of which exhibitors will be able to park their display aircraft.
According to Ahmed Nemat Abdul Rahim of the country’s Civil Aviation Affairs department, business aviation is growing fast there and the government has just given approval for four executive charter firms to join long-established operator Bexair. Bahrain is a 30-minute drive from the eastern province of Saudi Arabia and offers a convenient gateway for Western companies to access this market.
The show is being held at Sakhir Air Base, a private airport that is generally used only by Bahrain’s royal flight department. It is being organized by Civil Aviation Affairs in partnership with Farnborough International–organizer of the UK’s Farnborough airshow. The FI team is specifying the design of all show facilities and is also taking the lead with marketing and sales. The chalets will be offered on a turnkey basis so exhibitors are spared the chore of arranging for furnishing, catering and other amenities.
According to a spokeswoman for Farnborough International, the new Bahrain show is in no way intended as a direct competitor to the established biennial Dubai Air Show, which will be held about two months earlier, from November 15 to 19, 2009. She told MEBA Convention News that the Bahrain event is a completely different type of show in terms of both structure and content. Nonetheless, like the Dubai show, Bahrain will also feature all facets of both civil and military products.