Dubai bids to become 'biggest air hub by 2018'

22/05/2012 - Dubai Lifestyle News Posted by Neil King
Dubai bids to become 'biggest air hub by 2018'

The UAE state of Dubai is nothing if not ambitious - and the emirate's latest goal is to become the biggest air hub in the world in six years.Its high-level connectivity and advanced modern infrastructure could give the region the competitive edge in its bid to become the most prominent flight centre by 2018, according to a leading aviation official.President of Emirates Airlines Tim Clark said in an interview with global publishing, research and consultancy company the Oxford Business Group that Dubai Airport's SP2020 initiative will allow capacity at the travel centre to rise from 60 million to 90 million passengers in the coming six years."The paramount advantage that Dubai must continue to leverage is its superior infrastructure," he said.Mr Clark remarked that the emirate's government's efforts to ensure the region's transportation services are well linked would give the metropolis the edge over its rivals.He added that he is confident the airport could be adapted to accommodate the additional airlines Emirates plans to introduce in the years to come.Chief executive officer of Dubai Airports Paul Griffiths agrees that Dubai's ambitions to expand its travel reach should blaze the trail for the emirate to up its market share of passenger and cargo transhipment."What we are doing is using Dubai as an attractive destination for tourism and commerce, as well as a global long-haul aviation hub," he explained.The aviation boss added, however, that the industry still faces numerous challenges, with carbon trading restrictions and rising oil prices affecting the sector, as fuel now makes up 42 per cent of an airline's costs.And Mr Clark noted that, while environmental regulations bear down heavily on carriers, the instigation of such rules will provide further impetus for companies to improve their fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.The full Oxford Business Group report will be made available online and in print and will mark over six months of research, providing information on opportunities for foreign direct investment into the emirate's economy.