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Thu 25 Oct 2007 01:24 AM

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DAE eyes airport opportunities

Dubai Aerospace Enterprises is studying airport investment projects in the Middle East and Australasia.

State-owned Dubai Aerospace Enterprises (DAE), which last month dropped a $1.8 billion bid for New Zealand's Auckland airport, said is it studying airport investment projects in the Middle East and Australasia.

"We are not put off by New Zealand," DAE Chief Executive Bob Johnson told reporters in Dubai on Wednesday. "We have a pipeline of opportunities, principally in the Middle East and Australasia."

DAE could either buy into existing airports or build new ones, Johnson said, declining to be more specific.

"This region needs an incredible amount of expansion to keep up with demand," Johnson.

Gulf Arab economies are surging on a quadrupling in oil prices since 2002, with billions being poured into developing airport infrastructure to cater to increasing business and tourism traffic. Dubai alone is spending $33 billion on airport facilities.

DAE dropped its Auckland International Airport takeover bid after opposition from shareholders.

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