News & Events


Dubai Airport Show and the Investments in the M.E.

26 companies had been “admitted” to the Italian Pavilion at the Dubai Airport Show, promoted by our national Ice Agenzia. This will be one of the largest Italian delegations of companies active in the aviation industry. The program and our approach are now taking shape and all particpating companies have received the updates.

The 2023 edition of Dubai Airport Show is expected to confirm the figures of the last edition: 4,200-plus attendees from 71 countries and over 160 exhibitors from 23 countries and 100-plus buyers from 35 companies and 23 countries.

“Airports in the Middle East will need to invest 151 billion dollars in capacity expansion as the global air passenger demand is expected to increase more than two-fold by 2040 as indicated by major studie”ssays Giulio De Carli, President of Air Tech Italy–  “It’s expected that the airports in the Middle East will handle 1.1 billion passengers by 2040, a significant increase from 2019’s 421 million”.

Countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait to name but a few, continue to invest in the latest airport technologies and in their infrastructures, aiming to be a leading logistics hub for the global market and a strategic logistics crossroads for the growing economies of Asia, Africa and Europe. For this reason – continues De Carli – Air Tech Italy will support the growing importance of the region by expanding the role of Italian solution providers for the aviation market .

Attending the  Dubai Airport Show is one of the key elements in this strategy, with the Saudi Airport Exhibition, to be held in Riyadh December 19th and 20th, yet another important event to support that same strategy.

In the M.E. airports transit more than 420 million of passengers per year (2019; 5% of the world passenger traffic); they achieved the highest growth in percentage (+86%) in the 2010-2019 decade, after Asia Pacific (+105%). The average of the worldwide growth was +67% in the same period.

Similar growth for cargo: the M.E. is the market in which the cargo traffic grew much more than in the rest of the world (+50%) in the same period (world average was +26%).

After the collapse of the air traffic during the pandemic years (over -50% passenger traffic and over 10% the cargo traffic) it’s foreseen that next 2-3 years the traffic will come back on the same level of 2019

According major studies the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions are expected to account for 58 % of the global air passenger demand in 2040.

The ACI forecasts close to 19.7 billion passengers are expected to traverse the world’s airports by 2040.

With over 110 airports, this is already among the fastest growing in the world, accounting for 170 million of the global traffic.

Air Traffic – Passengers       
GROWTH 2010 – 2019
Region20102019var %
Asia-Pacific        1.620.839.342,00     3.329.843.186+105%
Europe        1.528.655.593,00     2.449.979.302+60%
North America        1.517.236.065,00     2.025.869.357+34%
Latin America          417.197.665,00        683.704.460+64%
Middle East          226.192.525,00        420.883.854
Africa          164.904.554,00        228.512.311+39%
WORLD        5.475.025.744,00     9.138.792.470
Albatross; ATI data processing  data

In the UAE, the New Sharjah International Airport Expansion, costing an estimated $517 million, will get completed by Q4 2024. The work involves the construction of a new passenger terminal and supporting infrastructure to raise its capacity to accommodate 20 million passengers by 2023. Earlier, it had been reported that the Arab world’s most vibrant economy had planned investments of over $23 billion in airport development and expansion projects over this decade.

Dubai’s $33 billion expansion project for Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) is set to restart after years of delays and inaction due to economic slowdown and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project involves constructing four additional runways, two terminals, four satellite concourses, an 8 sq km cargo facility, and a 40 km subterranean road network. The first phase of the project will include the construction of two runways, a West terminal, two satellite concourses, an intra-terminal train network, and a Dubai Metro connection.

One of the reasons for the project’s resumption is the growth of traffic at Dubai International Airport (DXB), which may struggle to cope with increasing aircraft movement demands due to its two runways. DXB projects 78 million passengers over 2023, just short of the 86 million handled in 2019, and a full return to pre-pandemic capacity in 2024.

The first phase of the DWC project is expected to be completed by mid-2030, taking its capacity to 130 million passengers per year, potentially going up to 260 million passengers annually by 2050.

The Kuwait Airport’s Passenger Terminal 2 expansion, costing $4.36 billion will boost the airport’s annual passenger handling capacity to 13 million passengers per year with the flexibility to increase to 25 million passengers and 50 million passengers in the future. As the project aims for the status of the world’s first LEED Gold-accredited passenger terminal building, the project is expected to be completed fully by 2025.

In Qatar, Hamad International Airport Phase 2B’s expansion work on the passenger terminal and extension of concourses D and E in Doha will commence likely this year and will enhance passenger capacity to more than 60 million annually.

The new cargo terminal will be completed by 2023 and will feature a new 3-level facility and an 85,000-sqm building footprint. Musandam Airport in Oman, costing $250 million, is expected to get completed by Q4 2026. The work includes the construction of two runways and a passenger terminal with a capacity of 250,000 passengers per year. In Egypt, plans to build Terminal 4 at Cairo International Airport are advancing.

Saudi Arabia is set to build one of the world’s largest airports which will have six parallel runways. The airport will help drive annual passenger traffic to 120 million by 2030 and 185 million by 2050. The Kingdom is undertaking a massive airport expansion and upgrades program to serve 330 million travelers by 2030 through $147 billion investments.

The Red Sea International Airport is set to open in late December 2023. King Salman International Airport aims to accommodate up to 185 million passengers and process 3.5 million tons of cargo by 2050. Jeddah Airport City at King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) is taking airport-centric development to a new level. Its expansion could push the passenger capacity to 114 million passengers per year after 2035, after its completion in

2028. Total investment is estimated to be $4.5 billion. It will be Saudi Arabia’s first airport city development in line with Vision 2030.