New research for the Airport Show - which opens its doors to visitors today at Dubai's International Conference Centre - reports that the fast-growing aviation industry will transform the GCC into a world travel hub with Dubai set to become the world’s busiest airport by 2015.
GCC airports are expected to handle as many as 250 million passengers by 2020, with the Middle East estimated to have the third fastest passenger growth rate of 6.6% by 2016.
ME airlines are expected to add 12.8% in capacity in 2013. By 2025, 7 billion people will be within reach via single flight, while total aircraft movement in the Middle East region will reach 2.3 million.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) expects air traffic in the region to grow 5.2% annually until 2030.
In terms of employement, the aviation industry is projected to create an additional 294,000 jobs over the next 15 years. Middle East’s air transport industry contributed US $129 billion to the region’s GDP, with the UAE alone accounting for AED 145billion.
According to Oxford Economics, the aviations industry’s direct contribution to GDP will increase by 6.3% per annum in real terms over the next 20 years, creating an additional 294,000 jobs in the region.
Daniyal Qureshi, Event Director for the Airport Show, said: “The study sheds light on the current developments and future growth opportunities for the aviation industry in the GCC states.
“As the study revealed, the world is literally going to pass through the Gulf in the coming years, given increasing air connectivity and expanding airports infrastructure.
“With their spirits sky high, the GCC airports and airlines are adding strength to their capabilities and capacities and have the means and motivation to become the world’s newest travel hubs, backed by oil income, geographical advantage and increasing mobility of people.”