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Mon 29 Nov 2010 12:00 AM

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EVENT PREVIEW: Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) Show

Following its success in previous years, Fairs & Exhibitions (F&E) Aerospace has promised a bigger and better Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show in 2010.

EVENT PREVIEW: Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) Show

A record number of visitors and exhibitors have been
predicted for this year’s Middle East Business Aviation Show (MEBA) by
organiser F&E Aerospace. The biennial event, which takes place at Dubai’s Airport Expo on
7th-9th December, will showcase the latest aircraft and services in the industry,
while providing a meeting point for business leaders and private investors to
meet with manufacturers and suppliers from the exclusive world of business
aviation.

Demand from local and international companies wanting to
exhibit has increased the floor space to almost double that of the previous
event in 2008, and the interior exhibition area now stretches over all of the
central hall and into the east hall of Airport Expo, giving visitors even more
to see and experience.

Outside on the static park, more than 70 business aircraft
will be displayed by the world’s leading manufacturers, including Boeing,
Airbus, Gulfstream, Dassault, Bombardier, Embraer, Cessna and Hawker
Beechcraft.

Visitors will have the opportunity to go inside the
aircraft, which will range from very light jets (VLJs) to super mid-sized
aircraft, and review and evaluate the luxurious decor, special audio/visual
features and onboard innovations for both passengers and crew.

The static park will also be lined by 30 double-storey
hospitality chalets and more company pavilions than in previous shows, giving
companies and their guests the privacy to negotiate deals and the chance to
network among their peers.

MEBA is now recognised as the third largest business
aviation show in the world and its position within the Middle
East region is its biggest selling point, according to Alison
Weller, managing director of F&E Aerospace. “MEBA’s counterparts in other
regions - NBAA in Atlanta and EBACE in Geneva – are bigger, but their location can be inconvenient
to travel to most of the time for busy decision-makers in the Middle
East region,” she says. “MEBA is held on alternate years to the
Dubai Airshow and complements it, saving visitors from having to attend and
trudge through such a vast event to get to business aviation exhibitors and
their aircraft.”

MEBA has attracted exhibitors from as far afield as the US, Brazil,
Hong Kong and Europe. They will be joined by
some of the Middle East’s top aviation companies, including Dubai World
Central-Aviation City, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), Saudi Arabia’s MAZ Aviation, Lebanon’s Executive Airport Services (EAS), and Jordan’s
International Wings Group.

First-time exhibitors include Honeywell from the US, Egypt-based AN Aviation, Lebanon’s Emerald Jet and Rizon Jet from Qatar, joining
returning companies such as Jet Aviation, Sikorsky and the UAE’s Al Jaber
Aviation.

“In addition to aircraft manufacturers, visitors will have
the chance to speak to aircraft brokering and chartering companies and discuss with
them the use of private aircraft as a business tool. This is especially
advantageous in a region such as the Middle East,
where cities are relatively close to each other, letting business executives
chase deals in three countries in the space of a day, without the limitations
and time-constraints that scheduled commercial flights demand,” continues
Weller. “Potential customers for business aviation can explore how they can
utilise private jets for optimum value, whether by chartering aircraft, using empty
legs as aircraft are ferried for booked flights, or by fractional ownership.”

Aircraft owners will welcome a show that gives them a
one-stop-shop in their search for companies dealing with aircraft management,
as well as maintenance firms working within the region that are certified for
their particular aircraft type.

Hosted by the Middle East Business Association, MEBA will be
attended by many of its 140 members from across the Middle
East and North Africa (MENA), who are planning to hold meetings to
discuss issues of relevance to business aviation in the region. MEBAA will also
welcome its counterparts from other regions when the governing body of the
International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), will hold its annual meeting in
Dubai, as MEBA
closes. Held for the first time ever in the Middle East, the meeting
traditionally takes place in the United States
or Europe.

With just days months to go, the floor plan of the trade
show is filling up, as exhibitors stake their claim to space in the exhibition halls
and outside on the static aircraft park and in the hospitality chalets and
pavilions. With an expected growth rate of 40 percent over the previous show in
2008, bookings are much farther ahead than at the same time prior to the last
event and space is now available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The last running of MEBA in November 2008 attracted some 250
exhibitors from 30 countries and over 5500 visitors, closing with more than
US$1.5billion worth of deals made. Alison Weller expresses her confidence in
achieving a 40 percent increase in participation, with some 350 business
aviation companies exhibiting and more than 7000 visitors attending.

“The industry was no doubt affected by the worldwide
economic downturn, putting a brake on corporates chartering business aircraft
and on sales of new models,” she said. “However, there are signs that the world
economy is at the start of its upturn and over the next two years business
aviation will again be considered a vital business tool for corporates who need
to get swiftly to where the deals are being made. MEBA is coming at the right
time as I predict we’ll be seeing quite a number of companies open up their
order books as they start to plan for a full return to business.”

Visitors can register online at www.meba.aero for US$20,
giving access for all three days of the show; onsite registration cost $35.

Exhibitors to meet at MEBA 2010

Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), Stand C600

Marketed as the largest operator of airports in the UAE, Abu
Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) will be promoting its growing network of
facilities to visitors of the Middle East Business Aviation Show (MEBA). This
includes the hugely successful Al Bateen Executive Airport – the region’s first
dedicated private jet airport, which reported a 34.4% increase in aircraft
movements during the first six months of this year, in comparison to the same
period in 2009.

Airbus, Stand A16

As demand continues to grow for private jets in the Middle East, aircraft manufacturer Airbus will be able to
provide the latest updates on its portfolio for corporate, VIP and government
aviation at MEBA 2010. This covers everything from its A318 Elite, Airbus
Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) and A320 Prestige to the wide-body A330, A340, A350
XWB and the A380. With orders from the likes of Comlux Aviation at the last
MEBA show, what’s in store for Airbus in 2010?

Al Jaber Aviation (AJA), Stand E300

Known for making an impact at MEBA, visitors can expect a
major presence from Al Jaber Aviation (AJA) at this year’s show. And with a
series of major developments in the past year, the Abu Dhabi-based company will
have a lot of information to share with visitors. For example, earlier this
year it became the first Middle East customer
to offer an Airbus aircraft for VVIP charter flights, following the delivery of
its first A318 Elite. It has a further three A318 Elites and two Airbus
Corporate Jetliners (ACJs) on order, which will make it the largest operator of
Airbus corporate jets in the region.

AVISA
Gulf, Stand C224

The success of AVISA
Gulf’s Continued
Airworthiness and Maintenance Management (CAMO) services in the business
aviation market will no doubt be highlighted at MEBA 2010. The company, which
is the Middle East partner of AVISA Aviation
Safety Systems, also provides airworthiness and safety consulting solutions and
aviation safety training courses.

Dubai World Central – Aviation City, Stand C610

The global aviation industry watched in awe as operations
commenced at Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai World Central earlier
this year. Another part of the multi-billion dollar development, Aviation City,
is also making fast-progress and will play a vital role in bringing together a
world-class community of aviation companies, consultancies, MRO organisations
and professionals to support the growth of UAE aviation. Find out more from the
DWC stand at MEBA 2010.

Embraer, Stand A15

Highlighting its successful participation at MEBA 2008,
Embraer announced three separate orders for its Legacy business jets, valued at
a reported US$208 million, as well as the addition of Falcon Air Services of
Abu Dhabi to its growing list of worldwide service centres. With growing
interest in the Brazilian airplane manufacturer over the past couple of years,
could that order list be topped at this year’s event?

ExecuJet Middle East, Stands
C418 & C426

ExecuJet Middle East will be participating in the MEBA 2010
to showcase the recent expansion of its maintenance capability at Dubai International
Airport, with the
additional of a second 4830m2 hangar. The new facility, which can accommodate a
maximum of 10 aircraft, or more of various sizes, complements an existing
5600m² maintenance, FBO and office facility at the airport, where ExecuJet
Middle East also offers aircraft management and charter services.

Gama Aviation, Stand E205

A highlight of the last Middle East Business Aviation Show
(MEBA) was the announcement of a regional expansion by Gama Aviation, the Middle East arm of UK-based business aviation specialist
Gama Group. Since that time, the company has boosted its fleet of business jets
and received its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) in the UAE. You can find out
more about its development strategy by visiting stand E310.

Hadid International Aviation Services, C246

Hadid International Aviation Services is fast becoming a
veteran of trade shows. After the company’s participation at Dubai Airshow 2009
and EBACE 2010, it has selected MEBA 2010 as another opportunity to meet with
clients and suppliers. With a stand in the central hall, visitors will receive
the latest information on Hadid’s range of services, which covers everything from
flight permits and refuelling to handling and charters.

JETEX Flight Support, C400

Based in Dubai
airport, with a 200-strong workforce, JetEx Flight Support will return to the
Middle East Business Aviation Show once again in 2010, after previously appearing
as a sponsor. The company offers a VIP solution for commercial, business and
private aircraft operators, including flight planning and dispatch services, as
well as ground handling, fuel sales and regulatory permissions.

Lufthansa Technik, Stand C305

Lufthansa Technik was amongst the first exhibitors to
confirm its participation at this year’s Middle East Business Aviation Show
(MEBA). The international heavyweight is being represented by Lufthansa Technik
Switzerland
on stand C305 and will be showing its latest VVIP interior solutions, amongst
other things.

Middle East Business
Aviation Association (MEBAA), Stand E246

How could there be a Middle East Business Aviation Show
(MEBA), without the association that this event has actually been organised for?
With more members (and some would say more influence) than ever before, the
Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) will have a must-attend stand
at the exhibition, where visitors will be updated on various recent
developments, including a partnership between MEBAA and the Gulf Centre for
Aviation Studies.

Palm Aviation, Stand C500

With the slogan ‘taking the headache out of flight support
services’, Palm Aviation will return to MEBA this year to market its well-known
brand. The company made a splash at MEBA 2008, after announcing its plans to
grow revenues by 35% annually over the next five years across the region.
Today, it operates a 24-hour operations centre – the epicentre of a service
portfolio that includes over flight and landing permits, ground handling, fuel
uplift, slot time allocation, and flight plans.

Rizon Jet, Stand C310

After moving from Bahrain
to new premises in Doha,
Rizon Jet welcomed former Jet Aviation executive Patrick Enz as CEO in
September 2009, who has since established a strong international team of
business aviation professions to manage the company. With a new base at Doha International
Airport, the company operates a
charter fleet that includes two Hawker 900XPs and two Challenger 605s in the Middle East.

Royal Jet, Stands A5 & A6

Featuring on our cover this month, Royal Jet is the
award-winning luxury flight services provider, headquartered in Abu Dhabi. Jointly-owned
by Abu Dhabi Aviation and Presidential Flight Authority (previously known as
Amiri Flight), the company was one of the first to lend its support to the
Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show, when the event launched. Since then,
its partnership has developed from strength-to-strength and visitors can look
forward to a heightened presence from Royal Jet at MEBA 2010.

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