Dubai Event Preview: Airport Show 2012
Reed Exhibitions Middle East has confirmed over 200 exhibitors for the Airport Show 2012, which takes place at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre on 22nd-24th May 2012, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
The impressive figure, which is around 15 to 20 percent higher than the previous edition, includes industry heavyweights such as dnata, Cavotec Middle East, Fujairah International Airport, Siemens and Dubai Technology Partners. In addition, more than 20 German airport technology companies will be showcasing their latest products and services to regional industry decision-makers, whose search for innovative technology to meet the future growth demands remains unprecedented.
“The Airport Show, which is now biennial, has firmly established itself as one of the world’s leading events devoted exclusively to airport construction, operations, technology and services,” comments Mohamad Bader-Eddin, show director at Reed Exhibitions Middle East, adding that last year’s Airport Show welcomed around 5000 trade visitors from 62 countries around the world. “The 2012 edition will be taking place at a time when billions of dollars will be invested in the expansion of airports in the UAE, including US$8 billion for the Dubai International developments and $7 billion for Abu Dhabi Airport. In addition, billions of dollars have also been invested in other expansion programmes at airports in GCC states and the wider Middle East.”
A number of seminars will also take place during the three days to support the exhibition, covering topics such as ‘simplifying passenger journeys’, ‘embracing technology to ensure excellence in terminal service delivery’, and ‘intelligent sensor solutions for operational excellence in airports’, while a hosted buyers programme has been included to encourage direct interaction between exhibitors and buyers in a dedicated environment.
The hosted buyers programme from last year’s Airport Show attracted 63 members in total, invited from companies such as Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), Saudi Arabia’s King Khaled International Airport, plus the airports in Al Ain, Bahrain, Beirut and Doha. “We worked hard to offer a comprehensive business development platform last year, bringing together exhibitors and their most valuable counterparts. This created value-added matchmaking activities that enabled all participants to interact with the right prospects, do business with them, and exchange experiences,” states Bader-Eddin. “This year, we will have more hosted buyers than last year, maximising the networking and business opportunities during the three days.”
Global interest in this year’s Airport Show is perhaps a reflection of lucrative growth opportunities for airport-related suppliers in the region. Germany companies in particular have successfully capitalised on business opportunities offered by phased airport expansions in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. Dieter A. Heinz, president of German Airport Technology and Equipment (GATE), the German umbrella association for quality airport suppliers, believes that the Middle East will remain one of the biggest international markets in terms of new aircraft sales and airport expansions, even when other regions are grappling with uncertainties and challenges. GATE has been participating at the Airport Show every year since its launch in 2001.
“We consider the Airport Show to be one of the most important trade exhibitions to reach out the highly-promising regional markets. The idea with a German Pavilion is to encourage small and medium-sized German companies to enter the local and regional markets, where the aviation sector is the most important economic sectors in the world, also for the benefit of the customers,” he explains, adding that Germany remains in a better situation than many other European Union countries in terms of economic stability, with member companies of GATE establishing a strong reputation in the Middle Eastern markets, especially the UAE.
“For the expansion projects and construction of airports in the UAE, I can say that German companies enjoy a good reputation for advanced technology and reliability. I am convinced that this strong relationship will grow further in terms of mutual businesses. Emirates Airline, for example, is strongly engaged at major German airports already, while Etihad Airways recently invested in Air Berlin, the second biggest German airline with the home base at Berlin Brandenburg International Airport,” he continues. “It is important that Dubai preserves its high global reputation and continues to provide the best services for passengers both on board the aircrafts and at the airports. The quality feature of the aviation sector in Dubai makes all the difference. Also the new Dubai World Central development will prove Dubai’s ambition for being one of the biggest international air transport hubs in the future as well.”