Business aviation plays an important part in connecting the MENA region to the rest of the world, and has far-reaching implications for the region’s economic growth, according to Ali Alnaqbi, founding chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA).
“Business aviation traditionally complements other forms of aviation,” Alnaqbi clarifies, “By increasing accessibility to traditionally underserved areas and as a result, facilitating trade and business between places that may not have done so otherwise.”
The importance of these additional outlets is much more acute in emerging markets, such as the Middle East and North Africa, where a larger percentage of places may not yet be accessible by traditional routes. Currently, business aviation in the region represents a relatively small percentage of the global business fleet, however number of business jets in the MENA region is predicted to grow over 80% by 2023, according to the Bombardier Business Aircraft Market Forecast. In addition, the value of the industry is predicted to reach $1.2 billion by 2020.
Alnaqbi does point out that government and industry support is necessary to allow the industry to grow at such a rate, with airport support, landing slots and clearances all required to foster growth.
Addressing these issues will be the MEBAA Show scheduled to take place from 6-8 December 2016 at Airshow Site, DWC in Dubai. The event looks to attract over 9000 visitors and 460 exhibitors during its three day run.