Northern Ireland companies aim to land business in Dubai

Three Northern Ireland companies are visiting the Airport Show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 28-30 May on a business mission organised by Invest Northern Ireland. In addition, two local companies, Environmental Street Furniture, Newtownabbey, and Mallaghan, Dungannon, will be exhibiting at the prestigious event, now one of the world’s biggest airport industry shows.

Visiting the show on the Invest NI mission are: Fire Security, Belfast; Fast Engineering, Antrim; and George McIvor, Dungannon. The visit is Invest NI’s first to the Dubai event and is part of a wider campaign to help local companies win more business in the fast developing aerospace and airport sectors.

Dubai, for example, is committed to expenditure of over £50 billion on its aviation infrastructure over the next few years. Developments underway at Dubai International Airport will transform it into the world’s biggest commercial airport.

The Dubai event is the Gulf region’s only dedicated show for airport construction, operations, technologies and services and is on track to be the world’s biggest event of its type.

Assistance in terms of market information and lead generation is being provided to the companies by staff at Invest NI’s Technology and Development Centre in Dubai.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director, commenting on the event, says: “Taking part in the show will enable the companies to evaluate opportunities and make worthwhile contacts in the Gulf, one of the world’s most dynamic aviation markets, as well as India and Africa.

“Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) is channelling around £10 billion into creating a global aerospace manufacturing and services corporation and more than £30 billion has been earmarked for the development of airports across the region with £10 billion invested by airports in the UAE alone.”

“The increase in airport development across the region is being fuelled by a sharp upturn in tourist arrivals and airline expansions in the Middle East. Led by the UAE, companies throughout the region are increasingly looking towards tourism to drive their economies forward,” he adds.

More than 500 exhibitors and 5,000 industry visitors from the worldwide aviation sector are expected to attend the event, a rise of 25 per cent compared with 2006.

The region has seen a proliferation of new airlines and the demands of existing carriers will create a demand for 800 new aircraft, worth well over £50 billion, over the next 20 years.

The event has become well established as a major forum for the selection and pre-qualification of suppliers for airport development projects not only in the Gulf area but also across the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

It attracts a targeted audience of regional civil aviation departments, government officials, consultants and contractors behind all the major aviation projects. In 2006 it was visited by official delegations from 47 regional civil aviation authorities and airports.

New features for the Airport Show 2007 include pavilions dedicated to airport logistics and ground handling companies.

All exhibitors qualify for private meetings with decision makers from regional civil aviation authorities and have pre-arranged meetings with ‘Hosted Buyers’ representing those authorities undertaking the largest developments.