The aviation industry of Dubai will in the coming years realise impressive growth, predicts Oxford Economics in a new report. By 2030, with adequate expansion, the industry of the Gulf emirate is directly and indirectly expected to account for a staggering 45% of Dubai’s GDP, driven by its highly successful international travel hub and tourism strategy.
As it stood in 2013, Dubai’s aviation industry accounted for 27% of total GDP, at $26.7 billion. This is made up of a core benefit of $16.5 billion, and an indirect tourism benefit of $10.2 billion. The industry supported some 416,500 jobs or 21% of Dubai’s total employment, split between core, subsidiary and tourist employment.
By 2020, UK-based advisory firm Oxford Economics expects the economy-wide contribution of the state’s aviation industry to grow to 38%, at the time employing roughly 30% of its population, this growing to a staggering 45% by 2030, with 35% of its population working in the aviation and related tourist industries.
The aviation industry is not just growing in size and breadth, but also in speed: “Between now and 2020 the contribution of the aviation sector to Dubai’s economy is expected to grow at a faster rate than the economy as a whole,” says the global research firm.
Dubai International Airport is the busiest airport in the Middle East, and one of the busiest globally. In 2013 66.4 million passengers passed through its gates, a number expected to grow to more than 120 million by 2020. The government-owned Emirates Airline, which is based at Dubai International, carried 44.5 million passengers in 2013, compared with 39.4 million the previous year.
Looking to 2030 however, the report suggests that, to reach its full economic potential, the airline industry in Dubai will need to further expand its infrastructure. If the airport does not grow to meet increasing demand, then by 2021 passenger growth is expected to slow vis a vis its unconstrained path. The report says that either Dubai International or Al Maktoum International*, which opened last year and is located 37 km from Dubai at Jebel Ali, should grow further for the full potential to be capitalised.
* When fully completed, Al-Maktoum International will handle 120 million passengers annually.