All aboard for MEBA: the next occasion the industry gets together in earnest in Dubai in December. This year, the event is being held for the first time at the city's new Dubai World Central airport. Organisers the Middle East Business Aviation Association and Fairs & Exhibitions are confident that the exhibition will be 10% bigger than the last one in 2010.
"We have all the OEMs signed up and are branching more into the supply chain," says MEBAA chairman Ali Al Naqbi. The 2012 show will be held in the DWC passenger terminal - currently unused, as the airport is handling only freight traffic - but will move in 2014 to a purpose-built exhibition hall at DWC that will be open in time for the Dubai air show in November 2013.
Meanwhile, MEBAA will launch the first of a series of regional forums - effectively mini-MEBAs - in Beirut in April 2013. "We have recognised the [business aviation] market in Lebanon is growing at a remarkable rate, dovetailing a private sector that contributes 75% towards GDP," says Al Naqbi. "As such, business aviation in Lebanon is now considered to be the fourth-largest market within the MENA region."
MEBAA hopes to follow the Beirut forum with similar events in Marrakesh, in Morocco; Amman, in Jordan and Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia.