Massive airport developments stretch across the Middle East

An artist’s impression of the Abu Dhabi International Airport

AIRPORT development in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia has reached a new high, with projects and expansions across the region now valued at over $68 billion.

The Gulf countries account for $43 billion of this growth, with $21 billion worth of development now under way in the UAE, where Dubai’s annual airport industry exhibition is set to become the largest in the world this year.
The pattern of regional airport expansion, fuelled by strong economic growth and increased passenger traffic, is highlighted in research conducted by Streamline Marketing Group, organisers of the Airport Show which takes place at Airport Expo Dubai from June 2 to 4.
The figures highlight a massive phase of airport construction and expansion through the Gulf countries, and in Jordan, Iraq, India, Sri Lanka and across the African continent.
Heading the list at $10 billion is the new Al Maktoum International Airport at Jebel Ali, UAE - to become the largest airport in the world and handling 120 million passengers annually - followed by the development of Abu Dhabi International Airport at $6.8 billion and Qatar’s $5.5 billion New Doha International Airport.
Other major developments include Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul Aziz, Madinah and Tabuk Airports at a total cost of $11.3 billion, along with the modernisation of smaller airports in India at $4 billion, and further projects worth $3.5 billion and $2 billion respectively in Libya and Baghdad.
“The Gulf region alone now has airport developments and expansions worth in excess of US$43 billion under way,” said Nick Webb, director of Streamline Marketing Group.
“This is reflected in the continuing growth of the Airport Show, which will be the largest airport construction, operations, technology and services show to be staged anywhere in the world this year.”
Webb said exhibition sales are currently up 51 per cent compared with last year, and this year’s event is expected to feature a record of more than 550 exhibitors with 12 national pavilions.
Other important airport developments in the Middle East include Bahrain International Airport at $815 million; Kuwait International Airport at $2.1 billion; and Queen Alia International Airport, Jordan at $600 million.
In Africa developments in Egypt (Cairo International Airport and other airports) will cost $850 million; in Morocco (Mohammed V International & Benslimane Airports) $565 million; South Africa (Tambo and Johannesburg International Airports and other regional development) $725 million; New Khartoum International Airport, Sudan, $530 million; and Tunisia (Enfidha and Monastir Airports) are projects worth $532 million.