Fujairah airport wants to shake off its image as one of the forgotten emirates and use its location to become a serious player in maintenance and other services, such as business aviation, flight training and cargo.
Although relatively remote from the main cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Fujairah is the only one of the seven statelets within the United Arab Emirates on the Indian ocean and the airport says its microclimate makes it accessible when the UAE's other airports are shut due to fog or sandstorms.
"We have a huge amount of airspace and we are never congested," says strategy and business development manager Charles Hajdu, who was at MRO Middle East to talk up the airport's potential.
A new road opening shortly will mean 4.5 million people will be within a 45min drive, compared with 250,000 today.
The first maintenance operation at the airport offering services to Western types is due to open at the end of this year. The Europe Aviation Fujairah hangar will have space for two Airbus A340s or four A320s. Until now, only MROs servicing Russian types have operated from the airport.