Next generation rotor technology to be showcased at the maiden Dubai Helishow 2004

Travel News Asia 28 November 2004

The use of rotor wing aircraft in civil, public service, and military use in the Middle East region is forecasted to increase as evidenced by the heavy presence of European and American manufacturers of rotor technology and related industries in the  upcoming Dubai Helishow 2004, the region's first International Helicopter Technology and Operations Exhibition to be held at Dubai Airport Expo from December 6-9, 2004.

More than 80 leading regional and global helicopter manufacturers are taking part in Dubai Helishow 2004 organised by MEDIAC, a leading trade fairs organiser in the GCC region, under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister.

"The Middle East region is about to witness a revolutionary change in the transportation sector. The resilience of the Gulf economies have increased commercial traffic to the region with international dignitaries, business leaders and key policy makers visiting the region, spurring the need for VVIP and Executive short haul transportation in addition to fuelling growth other sectors of the economy," said Abdulla Abdulhoul, Managing Director, MEDIAC.

"The region also has enormous potential for both the defence and civil markets including military upgrades, transport and utility helicopters, commercial operators, and private ownership. Dubai Helishow 2004, with a combination of the most befitting venue and the exceptional access it provides to high value clientele from the governmental, military and private sectors in the region, offers the exhibitors a highly attractive opportunity to showcase their technologies under one roof, " he added.

Saudi Arabia is investing more in procuring helicopters for military use with other countries in the region eyeing the technology for use in the paramilitary sector. Military procurement is by far the key growth sector in the Middle East and Gulf region as demonstrated by the orders placed recently by the Sultanate of Oman for 16 Super Lynx's and Saudi Arabia's keenness to upgrading its Apache AH-64A fleet to AH-64D Longbow version and UAE's interest to upgrading 30 of its Apache AH-64A Attack Copters.

"In addition to the military applications, rotor wings are increasingly used in other areas. Emerging scenarios point to the increased use of helicopters in sectors including, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Offshore Utility Support, Tourism and Aviation training," added Abdulhoul.

In the coming decade, many Offshore Utility Support operators in the Middle East and the Gulf will be replacing entire fleets of aging helicopters, making this sector in the region very lucrative. In addition, the increasing price of oil is spurring more activity in drilling and exploration, directly augmenting the use of rotor wings aircraft. 

For offshore support, the forecasted collective purchases of rotor wing aircraft stands at 31.5 per cent in Middle East, Africa and Asia, by far the greatest in a global civil helicopter market that is worth US$ 19 billion, with a projected shipment of 9500 commercial rotary wing aircraft over the next 10 years. EMS sector also looks promising with the development of specialised areas such as Health Care Cities that may rely heavily on helicopters to transport patients. Tourism, one of the key growth sectors in the Middle East region, is a long-term niche sector, as is the market for personal use.

The exhibition will cover diverse technology areas and includes participants from various sectors like Air Frames, Aircraft brokers, legal advisors & insurers, Avionics, Commercial operators in agriculture and forestry, Airlines, Electronic News Gathering, Firefighting, Inspection of Pipelines and Transmission Lines, Offshore Oil Support, Police and Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Tourism, Helicopter airframes, Heliports & helipads, Repair & overhaul facilities and Trainers & Simulators.

The Dubai Helishow 2004 will see active participation from many regional and international companies from countries such as Australia, Bahamas, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, UAE, UK and the USA.

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