Dubai a magnet for competition



In light of Dubai’s International Airport expansion plans, analysts have predicted an influx of aviation competitors for the emirate nation.

Dubai is currently plagued with financial woes exceeding $100 billion in real estate debt, yet the burgeoning metropolis has experienced a mammoth increase in traffic this year, up 16% on 2009 figures.

To compare, the Asia-Pacific market is up almost 13% but still lagging behind the world’s fastest growing hotspot, Dubai.

Dubai International Airport plans to expand its annual capacity from 60 million to 75 million over the course of the next year, servicing Airbus A380’s on Concourse 3.

Al-Maktoum International Airport is currently being developed on a site next to the existing international facility and will open for passenger travel in March 2011.

Due to Dubai’s dependency on funnelling passengers from Europe and Asia through to other destinations, the desert city has left itself wide open for competitors to take advantage of this popular market.

Dubai is lacking proper regional and domestic markets, making it a passing gateway to the rest of the world.

India looks to be a primary rival if they can implement a strategy that would see an International hub erected and competitive airlines servicing international and domestic markets.

“I would look at Indian airlines in particular. Once you have a strong home market like India, you have the ability to capture traffic” said Phillip Butterworth-Hayes, Lead Consultant of the aviation advisory firm, PMi Media.

“Before the end of the decade passenger numbers will approach 90 million making Dubai International the busiest airport in the world in terms of international passenger traffic,” Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said last week.

Dubai International Airport is currently ranked 14th busiest behind John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.