Ali Al Naqbi has been at the heart of business aviation developments in the Middle East for more than a decade, playing a central role in the formation of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), of which he is chairman. This role followed three years as managing director of Abu Dhabi-based aircraft charter and management group Royal Jet. Previously, for almost 20 years, he had been with Abu Dhabi’s Amiri flight, from which Royal Jet was formed.
United Arab Emirates
Royal Jet, the commercial private jet concern owned by the UAE’s Presidential Flight Authority and Abu Dhabi Aviation, is planning a major fleet expansion in 2013, the year of its 10th anniversary. A defection by the nine-jet company away from Boeing, given that Royal Jet owns the world’s largest Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) fleet–six aircraft–would be a major blow for the U.S. manufacturer.
Fujairah’s business has traditionally been in cement and mining, but ship bunkering has developed into a major industry, general shipping is thriving at Fujairah and Khorfakkan ports, and plans are in full swing to build an oil refinery, increase tank-farm storage facilities and develop tourism and real estate.
Construction began on the port at Jebel Ali in 1978, but it wasn’t until around 1985 that the man-made facility–generally recognized as the bedrock of Dubai’s modern-day success–started to fulfill its potential–and the emirate’s knack for turning ideas into world-beating projects shouldn’t be underestimated.
A short-notice, low-profile visit to the UAE by British Prime Minister David Cameron this week boosted the prospects of an order for the Eurofighter Typhoon. But government and military sources in London and Paris told AIN that the Emiratis are in no hurry to make a decision, and that the Dassault Rafale remains in contention. Dassault declined to comment on the latest development.
Dubai’s importance as a hub for carrier Emirates Airline continues to increase, along with its proportion of connections to total traffic. Connecting passengers now account for 70 percent of all traffic into and out of Dubai, Emirates reported last month. For example, on September 5, the airline’s Dubai-Glasgow flight, EK27, attracted passengers from 39 points on the globe, from Accra and Cape Town in Africa, Christchurch in New Zealand, and Tokyo and Seoul in Asia.
Organizers of the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show expect the fifth staging of the biennial event to be reinvigorated by its new venue at the Dubai World Central (DWC) airport. This year’s show (December 11 to 13) will benefit from the use of one of the just-completed, but as yet unoccupied, passenger terminals at DWC, also known as Al Maktoum International Airport.
Right in the middle of the NBAA Convention is precisely the right time to begin thinking about December’s Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show in Dubai, the fifth edition since the show began in 2005. This year’s event runs from December 11 to 13, but at a new location, Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport (OMDW), a 25-minute drive south of the City of Dubai.
Three months after launching scheduled domestic service in the UAE with flights to Sir Bani Yas and Delma Islands from Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport, Rotana Jet extended its offering on September 19 to double-daily Embraer ERJ-145 service from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Fujairah. Exactly a week later, the upstart regional airline started twice-daily flights from Abu Dhabi International to Al Ain.