Aviation to add ex­tra $80bn to UAE econ­omy by 2037, says IATA

The aviation sector is pre­dicted to add an ex­tra 620,000 jobs to the UAE econ­omy by 2037, IATA’s new re­port es­ti­mates.

Aviation Business - - RADAR - By Ali­cia Buller.

The pri­ori­ti­sa­tion of aviation as a key strate­gic as­set could gen­er­ate an ex­tra $80 bil­lion in GDP for the UAE econ­omy by 2037, said the In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA) in its lat­est re­port. The aviation sector is also pre­dicted to add an ex­tra 620,000 jobs to the UAE econ­omy by 2037, IATA said.

Air trans­port’s con­tri­bu­tion to the UAE econ­omy is al­ready sig­nif­i­cant. The in­dus­try at present sup­ports nearly 800,000 jobs and con­trib­utes $47.4 bil­lion to the econ­omy, ac­count­ing for 13.3% of the UAE’s GDP.

If the gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to pur­sue a pos­i­tive agenda for aviation, the UAE’s aviation mar­ket will grow 170% by 2037, sup­port 1.4 mil­lion jobs and con­trib­ute $128 bil­lion in GDP to the na­tion’s econ­omy, IATA said. The air­line body sug­gested that the UAE should in­crease its airspace ca­pac­ity to ease con­ges­tion and meet fu­ture de­mand.

“Airspace ca­pac­ity in the re­gion has not kept pace with the growth in de­mand, which is lead­ing to sig­nif­i­cant de­lays par­tic­u­larly in the GCC. Gov­ern­ments in the re­gion must re­place po­lit­i­cal frag­men­ta­tion with col­lab­o­ra­tive cross­bor­der de­ci­sion-mak­ing to en­sure that the global com­pet­i­tive­ness of the re­gion’s hubs is not af­fected,” the re­port stated.

IATA also rec­om­mended that the UEA should align in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ments with ex­pected growth and con­tinue to lever­age new tech­nol­ogy to en­hance ef­fi­ciency.

“Fu­ture in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ments must pro­vide enough ca­pac­ity to meet mar­ket de­mand and en­sure air­line tech­ni­cal and ser­vice level needs are aligned and re­main af­ford­able,” stated the re­port. Fast adop­tion of new tech­nol­ogy and ini­tia­tives to in­te­grate aviation with fu­ture modes of trans­porta­tion will en­hance the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the UAE as an aviation hub,” it said.

“Over the past 25 years, the UAE has ex­pe­ri­enced an eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion; aviation has been at the heart of this evo­lu­tion. To­day the UAE is ranked num­ber one glob­ally for air trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion, tops the Mid­dle East re­gion for visa open­ness, is an aviation pow­er­house and its air­lines carry the coun­try’s flag to all cor­ners of the globe,” said Muham­mad Ali Al­bakri, IATA’s re­gional vice pres­i­dent for the Mid­dle East.

Air­lines, air­port op­er­a­tors, air­port on-site en­ter­prises (res­tau­rants and re­tail), air­craft man­u­fac­tur­ers, and air nav­i­ga­tion ser­vice providers em­ploy 180,000 peo­ple in UAE. In ad­di­tion, by buy­ing goods and ser­vices from lo­cal sup­pli­ers, the sector sup­ported an­other 120,000 jobs, ac­cord­ing to IATA data.

The aviation sector is also es­ti­mated to sup­port a fur­ther 68,000 jobs through the wages it pays its em­ploy­ees, some or all of which are sub­se­quently spent on con­sumer goods and ser­vices. For­eign tourists ar­riv­ing by air to UAE, who spend their money in the lo­cal econ­omy, are es­ti­mated to sup­port an ad­di­tional 409,000 jobs. In to­tal 777,000 jobs are sup­ported by air trans­port and tourists ar­riv­ing by air, said the IATA re­port. The top in­ter­na­tional tourist ar­rivals (by all modes of trans­port), by re­gion of res­i­dence hailed from East Asia and the Pa­cific. Al­most 13 mil­lion pas­sen­gers ar­rived to the UAE from Asia-Pa­cific in 2018 (44.8% of to­tal), 6.2 mil­lion pas­sen­gers ar­rived from Europe (21.5%) and 6 mil­lion pas­sen­gers ar­rived from the Mid­dle East (20.7%).

Aviation ‘at the heart’ of UAE’s eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion of past two decades

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