Local industry also makes its mark on Middle East’s only business aviation event
While MEBA – Middle East Business Aviation – is set to attract more international aviation players than ever before, local and regional companies are also keen to attend the region's biggest business aviation event. Organised by F&E Aerospace on behalf of the Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), this year's MEBA has a powerful combination of international, regional and local players.
The biennial event is being held for the first time at the purpose-built Dubai World Central aerotropolis event hall in December, bolstering an already buoyant market.
Ali Al Naqbi, Founding Chairman of MEBAA, said: “As the Middle East becomes the new global aviation hub, our predictions for 2020 reveal a regional market worth US$20 billion; with 175,000 aircraft movements in the region and some 1,200 business aircraft registered across MENA.
“This growth needs aircraft manufacturers and suppliers, regulators and law makers, maintenance firms, fixed-based operators and luxury service operators to be sustainable. Dubai, and the region, is experiencing phenomenal growth in not only core, but also ancillary aviation industries.
“This, the sixth edition of MEBA, is a unique opportunity for the regional and global industry to come together, to network, to push for new regulation, guidance and support, and ultimately, to do business in one convenient, purpose-built location at the heart of the world's aviation sector,” Al Naqbi concluded.
Since its inception in 2005, MEBA has evolved into one of the world's leading business aviation exhibitions. MEBA 2012 closed with a reputation as a ‘game-changing’ event and the 2014 edition is expected to attract 8,000 attendees, 420 exhibitors and 50 business aircraft on 75,000sqm of exhibition space.
Regional organisations, including first time exhibitor Alpha Star from Saudi Arabia, are taking up nearly 30 per cent of the expanded exhibition space this year.
Alpha Star is an aircraft management and aviation consulting service provider. Fellow company from the Kingdom, Saudia Private Aviation, headquartered in Jeddah, is appearing again at MEBA, showcasing its top-tier international luxury flight services.
Avjet Routing, headquartered in the UAE, has a presence in Europe and Asia, and after establishment in 2006, is now a leading provider of aircraft services, from generating flight plans, ground handling and fuel services, visa and immigration services to hotel booking.
Execujet ME, based in the UAE, provides aircraft management, charter, FBO, maintenance and completions consulting; both Avjet and Execujet are prime examples of international aviation service companies which have developed a strong local presence.
World Fuel Services, based in Dubai, will bring its global fuel logistics expertise to MEBA, offering a full range of aviation fuel, trade credit availability, fuel price risk management, logistical support, fuel quality control and fuel management.
Another exhibitor representing the strong local presence is Cedar Jet Center, part of Middle East Airlines Ground Handling (MEAG). The company is focused on providing the business and general aviation industry with a full range of services, based out of the new General Aviation Terminal at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, where it occupies the largest VIP lounge and a 1800m2 hangar.
Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director, F&E Aerospace, said: “MEBA is looking forward to welcoming a number of new exhibitors as well as familiar faces. We will see some of the world's largest aviation companies alongside local participants. It is this mix that promises to make MEBA 2014 fascinating and will serve to further drive home the message that we are truly at the heart of the global aviation industry.”