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1. Infrastructure expanding rapidly: UAE authorities are investing $23.16bn in airport development and expansion, including $8bn in developing Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport, $7.6bn in Phase IV of Dubai International Airport, and $6.8bn in the expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport. Combined, the projects will have the capacity to handle over 300 million passengers a year.
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2. A steadily growing fleet: The combined fleet of the UAE’s four airlines has reached 502, including 268 in Emirates, 120 in Etihad Airways, 61 in Flydubai and 53 in Air Arabia. Collectively, the country’s airlines add an average of four or five aircraft per month, with the combined fleet size of Emirates, Etihad, Flydubai and Air Arabia expected to reach approximately 525 by the end of 2018.
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3. Improving performances: The region’s aviation industry is currently showing signs of increased efficiency and performance. In May, for example, Emirates Group announced full year profit of $1.1bn, for the financial year ending on March 31 – a 67 percent increase – with the airline reporting a profit of $762m, which represented an 124 percent increase over last year’s results.
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4. Important events: The UAE is host to a number of important aviation events such as the Dubai Airshow, which last year saw $114bn worth of orders signed, including $27bn worth of orders by flydubai and $15.1bn for Emirates. Additionally, the upcoming Global Investment in Aviation Summit (GIAS) will be attended by the world’s 500 top aviation players.
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5. An important part of the economy: Aviation plays a key part in the UAE’s economy and is expected to contribute even more over time. This is particularly true in Dubai, where by 2020 the impact of aviation and tourism-related activities will rise to $53.1bn – which is expected to be equivalent to 37.5 percent of Dubai’s GDP – and support 754,500 Dubai-based jobs.