FBO chain Signature Flight Support, with 103 facilities around the world, is interested in opening a Middle East FBO, said Steve Gulvin, regional vice president Europe and Middle East, "but we've decided conditions have to be right." Signature is exhibiting at MEBA for the third time and each time its presence at this show and also the biennial Dubai Airshow has grown.
The delayed arrival of business aviation at Dubai's new Al Maktoum International Airport got a kick start here on the opening day of the MEBA show yesterday. Airport developer Dubai World Center (DWC) and the Al Futtaim Services Company (AFSC) signed agreement to establish general aviation services at the ambitious new hub.
The wider world aerospace industry will be back here at the Dubai Airport Expo site for the 12th edition of the biennial Dubai Air Show next December 13 to 17. Companies wanting to exhibit at the 2011 show can lock into frozen 2009 prices if they make a booking before the end of this month.
The inauguration in June of Dubai World Central's Al Maktoum International Airport marked the completion of the project's Phase 1 and another significant milestone in Dubai's pursuit of air transport preeminence.
This is my first trip to Dubai, so a blog post from me on the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show is appropriate. Because I’ve attended many NBAA shows, people from AIN who’ve been to Dubai before have been preparing me for MEBA, with a note that this is no more than a mini-NBAA.
The fourth Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show is off to a strong start, with exhibitor numbers climbing more than 40 percent from 2008 and registered visitors topping the 7,000 mark, up from 5,500. But this could be the show's last staging here in Dubai for the time being, with plans being made to relocate the event to another prime location in the Arabian Gulf.
This AIN editor had an opportunity to tour Emirates/CAE Flight Training Center in Dubai. I was quickly impressed not simply with the size of the center, but also the pristine nature of the entire facility, a location that appears to have thought of almost every possible customer comfort, from snacks and drinks for crewmembers, no matter when their classes might operate, to limousine services to carry customers to and from their hotels.
UK-based private aviation services provider Ocean Sky (Booth No. E312) has signaled its expansion into the Middle East with the opening of an office in Dubai. According to the company, while its initial focus in the region will be to offer air charter and aircraft management services, it expects eventually to expand into other segments such as aircraft acquisition and sales and FBO operations.
This year’s Middle East Business Aviation show, to be held in Dubai December 7 to 9, is set to be the biggest event yet. According to Fairs & Exhibitions, the company that organizes the biennial event, the 2010 show will have about 40 percent more exhibitors than in 2008, with 350 companies booked. The number of trade visitors is expected to climb by around 27 percent to reach 7,000.
Sometimes business mixes with politics in less than subtle ways, as a dispute over landing rights in Toronto for Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways clearly illustrates.