BUSINESS AVIATION INTEGRAL TO ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE MENA REGIONTue, 24/05/2016Read later Industry Connects Region to the World 24 May, 2016: 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 the 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. “I am pleased to report that the three governments U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, and Morocco represent the majority of the business aviation market in the MENA region and are listening to our requests,” he says. “Infrastructure changes and developments do not happen overnight, but the requirement has been identified, and we are working towards a solution that will benefit the industry and therefore the economy as a whole.” The MEBAA Show, taking place 6-8 December 2016 at Airshow Site, DWC in Dubai, will provide a crucial platform for business aviation professionals from the region to meet, network and foster corporate and industry growth in the region and beyond. With over 9000 visitors expected to visit the 460 exhibitors during its three day run, the MEBAA Show is the place for industry representatives to be in December. During the MEBAA Show, attendees will have the opportunity to take part in formal networking sessions and attend panels specifically developed to address challenges facing the industry, such as the IBAC Business Aviation Around the World Panel.