The first Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) conference, in December 2005, was hosted by the Dubai air show. This year MEBA - the brainchild of Royal Jet chairman Ali Al Naqbi - has become a full-blown industry event in its own right, taking place at the Dubai airport convention centre on 31 January and 1 February. UK-based organiser Fairs & Exhibitions has lined up 80 exhibitors with 50 aircraft in the static display, and expects 3,000 visitors.

The event will be much more than just a mart for buying and selling aircraft, says Dave Barette, managing director of Emirates-CAE Flight Training and vice-chairman of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), set up in September last year to represent the interests of business aviation operators, manufacturers and service providers in the region. It will provide a platform for the organisation's members to "represent the needs of this sector to governments, media and public".

Despite the success of business aviation in the Gulf, the region's regulators are still "geared up for airlines and amiri [royal family and government] flights," he says.

"This is a big role for our organisation - to provide a forum so that operators can talk to regulators, as well as bringing in best practices from around the world to the Middle East and establish codes of conduct on safety and other matters."

Flight Daily News will be publishing twice during MEBA, covering all the news from the show as it happens 

Source: Flight International