Aviation in the Middle East isn’t just growing, it’s booming–and women have every opportunity to join the ranks, according to the president of the Emirates chapter of Women in Aviation, International (WAI).
United Arab Emirates
Jet Aviation has expanded operations at Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport, underlining its FBO presence at the new airport, which opened less than a year ago. It also highlights the growing trend for business jet migration from Dubai International to DWC, which started around the time of the Middle East Business Aviation event in December 2012.
Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s investment diversification catalyst, will launch a new combined Aerospace, Communications Technology and Defense Services (ACTDS) portfolio, a merger of business units designed to maximize intra-unit synergies, at this year’s Dubai Airshow.
Some 21 businesses in the ACTDS portfolio incorporate international industry leaders and emerging domestic players with more than 10,000 global employees. Together, the ACTDS businesses contributed almost 40 percent of Mubadala’s revenues in the first half of its 2013 fiscal year.
Airline industry organizations have welcomed new legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress that would prevent the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency from opening a customs preclearance facility in the UAE.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) will offer new guidance on Emergency Response Planning (ERP) aimed specifically at the Middle East, as well as an update on the Middle East Business Aviation Insurance Scheme (MAIS), at a series of seminars and workshops during the Dubai Airshow this week.
MEBAA will also host its General Assembly on Tuesday, November 19, with founding chairman Ali Al Naqbi updating the association’s 215 members on MEBAA’s activities during the year. He will also outline plans for 2014, including the MEBA 2014 event in December.
Although charter providers form an important part of the Middle East aviation market they have faced tough times in recent years, unlike the region’s royal flights. “Royalty always had money and always will have money,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for Teal Group, of Fairfax, Virginia. “The entrepreneur class that was growing has obviously been hit by the downturn, though,” he added.
U.S. ambassador to the UAE Michael Corbin will participate in a ceremonial ribbon cutting at noon today to officially open the U.S. International Pavilion at Stand 2358. Luminaries appearing with Corbin include U.S. ambassador to Qatar Susan Ziaheh; regional senior commercial officer for the Gulf and counselor for commercial affairs John Simmons; Robert Bannerman, U.S. consulate general for Dubai; and Tom Kallman, principal commercial officer and president and CEO of U.S. Pavilion organizer Kallman Worldwide. This year’s U.S. contingent includes 45 exhibitors representing 13 U.S.
This year’s Dubai Airshow marks the start of a new era in the event’s growth as one of the key dates in the aviation calendar. Having been under development for several years, the move to a new site here at Dubai World Central/Al Maktoum International Airport has been accomplished seamlessly. The move not only provides the show with a purpose-built facility with expanded road access, but also frees the former location at the busy Dubai International Airport from the burden of having to shut down airline operations during the daily flying display.
With eight civil airports boasting IATA designations, it’s reasonable to ask why there are so many facilities in a country the size of the UAE. Partly, this is because five of the seven emirates Abu Dhabi (3), Dubai (2), Fujairah (1), Ras al-Khaimah (1) and Sarjah (1) have the demand. The other two–Ajman, at 259 sq km the smallest, and Umm al-Quwain, the least populous–do not.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, the CEO of Flydubai, Dubai’s low-cost carrier, has a reputation for being tight-lipped. Observers would be unwise to mistake this reticence for a lack of activity: Flydubai has been diligent in adding aircraft and routes ever since its first flight to Beirut in 2009 and, as of September, Dubai’s second airline, operated to 66 destinations, from Yekaterinburg in the north to the Maldives in the south, Belgrade in the west and Colombo in the east.