The Middle East, and specifically the United Arab Emirates, is to become the world's principal aviation hub within the next couple of years.
That is according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), whose latest figures predict a 32 per cent increase in the number of global air passengers between now and the end of 2014.
Notably, of the anticipated 3.3 billion people who will be taking to the skies each year by then, around 82.3 million will fly in or out of the UAE, potentially boosting trade and property investment opportunities in the region.
Indeed, while China will remain the leading nation in terms of air passenger numbers, the emirates will be the busiest air traffic region on the planet, though the newly-published IATA report also notes that airlines are unlikely to see an upturn in profits for some time yet.
This comes as the Khaleej Times has reported how organisers of the upcoming Arabian Travel Market trade show are confident that they will achieve a five-to-eight per cent increase in delegates in 2011 when compared to last year's event.
Posted by Neil King