UAE's aviation sector set for employment boom
More than 400,000 jobs could be created in the UAE's aviation sector over the next 20 years, as the country's airports continue to expand at an incredible rate.According to a new study conducted by Oxford Economics, the air travel industry currently supports around 224,000 employees and this number is expected to rise sharply over the next couple of decades, WAM reports.The UAE's airports are predicted to handle 85 million passengers in 2013 and Middle Eastern aviation hubs are expected to accommodate 400 million people a year by 2020.If these targets are to be achieved, the industry will clearly need to recruit a multitude of new employees - particularly experienced managers.While this presents huge opportunities for people who are moving to Dubai on a permanent basis, there are concerns that the sheer number of people required to handle this boom might not be achievable.Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman of the Dubai Aviation City Corporation, told the news provider that intelligent leadership is required if the massive expansion is to be a long-term success."There remains a shortage in professional manpower because of the pace of development that we are witnessing, and we are filling these positions with foreign expertise," he was quoted as saying."Nonetheless, I believe the region has a sufficient number of aviation professionals to fill top-level positions, although I am not sure how long we will be able to sustain this given the rapid growth and development of the aviation sector."Dubai International Airport will continue to cement its status as the main international transport hub in the UAE and the facility is constantly being extended.The complex welcomed 57.6 million passengers throughout 2012 and this figure is expected to rise to 66 million this year.Its new Concourse A building opened for business earlier this year and this has taken the overall capacity to 75 million people a year.Airport chiefs are not resting on their laurels, though, and the site will continue to grow in the coming years and up to 90 million visitors will be accommodated annually by the end of the decade.