Gulf region’s aviation projects also accounted for 72% of the total estimated value for all aviation projects in the Middle East and North Africa.
DUBAI- Middle East passenger numbers are forecast to grow by 7% in 2018 according to the International Air Transport Association. Aviation will feature heavily in the programme at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018, which is being held between 22nd to 25th April at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Alan Peaford, current president of the UK’s Institute of Internal Communications, said, "Aviation and aerospace is thriving despite lower oil prices. Even with regional uncertainties aviation continues to grow. The Arab air transport market grew by 9.9% in the past year, according to the Arab Air Carriers Organisation at its 2017 AGM. Growth figures like these should support lively debate at ATM 2018 and provide an element of cautious optimism." IATA figures also revealed that Middle East airlines will see net profits doubling to $600 million in 2018, double what they are estimated to make this year. Passenger capacity is also estimated to rise by 6.6% this year and a further 4.9% increase is forecast for 2018.
The success of the aviation industry in the sky is matched in the Middle East by the continued huge infrastructure investment.
The total value of 152 active aviation-related projects in the Middle East reached $57.7 billion (AED211.8 billion) at the end of April 2017, according to research provider BNC Network.
In the GCC countries, Saudi Arabia accounted for the largest share of project value (at 46 percent of the GCC’s total), followed by the UAE (26 percent), and Kuwait (12 percent).
The Gulf region’s aviation projects also accounted for 72 percent of the total estimated value for all aviation projects in the Middle East and North Africa.
ATM – considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost 40,000 travel professionals to its 2017 event, including 2,661 exhibiting companies, signing business deals worth more than $2.5 billion over the four-day show.