Infrastructure

Gulf airport construction set to grow by almost 8% a year

Big events like the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar give boost to airport construction, says report

PHOTO: The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) forecasts that by the end of 2015, tourism arrivals in the Middle East could show annual growth rates of up to 5%. Credit: Shutterstock

Airport construction in the Gulf region is set to grow by almost 8% a year until 2019, a report by TechNavio has found.

Countries in the region are “investing heavily in transport infrastructure, such as roads, railroads, and airports”, helping create jobs, develop tourism and boost trade, the report said.

“Being positioned between the major economies of the East and the West, the geographic locations of GCC countries have made them an international aviation hub,” the report found. Airport construction is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.86% between 2015 and 2019, it said.

Projects underway in the region include the expansion of Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport, with a budget of $33bn, which will enable the airport to accommodate more than 220m passengers a year.

IN PICTURES: Top 10 Gulf airport projects

The Gulf airport construction boom comes amid rising tourist arrivals in the wider region. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) forecasts that by the end of 2015, tourism arrivals in the Middle East could show annual growth rates of up to 5%.

Big investments in airport construction have been required due to high-profile international events planned in the region, such as the World Expo 2020 in Dubai and 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the TechNavio report found.

“With a few GCC countries trying to meet the existing gap in aviation infrastructure and the others trying to build-up supply ahead of the rapidly growing demand, these countries are witnessing remarkable levels of airport construction activity,” the report noted.

IN PICTURES: Top 10 Gulf airport projects

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