Preview: Middle East Business Aviation Show

Dubai World Central is set to become the new hub for business aviation.



The MEBA show is set to host 13 per cent more visitors in 2012.

The Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) 2012 Show takes place on 11-13 December at Dubai World Central (DWC), Jebel Ali – the first major event to take place at the new airport.

MEBA 2012 is expected to host around 7,000 people, a 13 per cent increase on the last event, when it attracted 6,200 visitors from 33 countries.

As the global downturn has weeded out fly-by-night operators, the industry has been forced to make the case for its existence, and the real savings it can bring.

“In this part of the world particularly and until recently, business jets were [often] perceived as a form of transportation for the affluent… they have become recognised as an invaluable aid to executive performance, which has brought a host of new customers into the market,” said Alison Weller, managing director, F&E Aerospace.

“The MEBA event offers access to the entire supply-chain of the business aviation sector, from OEMs, such as Airbus, Boeing, and Gulfstream, to fixed-base operators (FBOs) such as Arabasco, Jet Aviation and Royal Jet, and leasing companies, insurance brokers, financiers, operators, pilots and suppliers,” she said.

The Middle East Business Aviation Conference (MEBAC) will take place on 10 December at the Address Hotel, Dubai Marina.
Saif Al Suwaidi, UAE General Civil Aviation Authority director general, will open the event, and Rob Wilson, Honeywell’s president of business and general aviation, will present the company’s Business Aviation Outlook 2013.

A session will also tackle the grey market, where companies fly idled aircraft at a discount, turning a blind eye to the lack of full insurance cover, that, in the event of accidents, can lead to damages of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars.

The increasing optimism about the UAE and Dubai economy should be set against the context of a more challenging environment for the global executive-jet sector.

Despite the fall in forecast deliveries, the number of global billionaires, a leading indicator of business-jet sales, is up in 2012 to 1,226, according to Forbes, from 1,011 in 2010.