The opportunity in the MENA region is quickly growing despite a number of challenges in recent years. According to industry reports; the region continues to be the world’s fastest-growing inbound travel market for the past 10 years, recording a 10% in average annual growth rates. Meanwhile, the aviation industry in Jordan has seen positive growth with a contribution of 5.3% to the overall GDP. The tourism sector in Jordan also acts as an economic driver and the second fastest growing sector in the Kingdom. More than 5.9 million passengers travelled to, from and within Jordan last year with inbound tourism topping the list at around 3 million tourists from the region.
“It is with great anticipation that we welcome the Routes MENA 2015 to the Kingdom of Bahrain,” said Mohamed Yousif Al Binfalah, Chief Executive Officer, Bahrain Airport Company.
“We are delighted to be bringing this prestigious event to Bahrain where we can show our visitors, first-hand the warm and welcoming culture of our people while experience the efficient and friendly airport which makes this country proud. Securing this prestigious inaugural event is the result of the collective efforts of our partners and stakeholders and we are confident that this world-class forum will reiterate Bahrain’s role as an aviation hub in the MENA region and highlight our deep-seeded aviation heritage.”
Further commenting on the announcement, Katie Bland, Director Routes for UBM Live, said “the MENA region has become very important from an aviation perspective. It represents nearly 11% of global aviation – about double its share from a decade ago - driven by global hub strategies in the Gulf and liberal aviation access policies.”
“We are delighted that Bahrain Airport Company is hosting our very first Routes MENA event dedicated to air service development to, from and within the MENA region and look forward to working with their team.”
Routes MENA will become part of the global Routes portfolio organised by UBM Live, which includes World Routes; Routes Asia; Routes Europe; Routes Americas; Routes CIS/Silk Road; Routes Africa and Routesonline.
The Bahrain Airport Company is currently in the design phase of a significant modernisation programme for Bahrain International Airport with construction due to commence during Q2 of 2015. The Kingdom of Bahrain enjoys an open skies policy and offers unrestricted access to a catchment area of more than 3.2 million that extends to the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is a small island located in the Arabian Gulf with a history of aviation that dates back to the early 1920's. Historically it has acted as a gateway between the East and West providing a natural transit destination for early trade routes and a strategic hub for the Northern Gulf. In addition to benefiting from a significant strategic location, The Kingdom of Bahrain is also rich in history and culture with some historical sites dating back more than 4,000 years.