Opinion and Editorial

UAE signposts good news

Filed on August 26, 2010

The UAE is swiftly returning to even keel. The fact that both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have registered record passenger movements in the same period indicates clearly that the Emirates continues to be the favoured hub for the world’s travellers whether they are moving east to west or west to east.

Abu Dhabi crossed a million and Dubai went past the four million point. It is indeed remarkable that these two airports could reach such significant milestones at a time when air travel globally is comparatively muted and the recession has kept the Western world relatively functioning within the slow tracks. What is more remarkable about these figures is that there is a two-fold positive fallout. For one, it indicates that the international interest levels in the UAE have not been negatively impacted upon but, instead, are growing exponentially. The business end is picking up momentum and a new breed of investor is looking at the state of the art infrastructure that exists and seeing it as a very attractive incentive to set up shop. We are likely to see a lot more action on that front.

By the same token the up in footfalls at the airports also underscores a renewed interest in the tourism traffic, the conventioneers and corporate conferences as well as major exhibitions. This, in turn, has a galvanising effect on the hospitality industry and when that happens as it already is then the occupancy in the hotels generates a liquidity that percolates through the commercial veins of the emirates and the wheels of trade and retail begin churning again.

So, it is not just the cold figures of percentage increase in passenger movements at these two airports that count but more vitally what they say about the future and how they signpost the speed of the revival.

Add to these scenarios the other dimension of an up in cargo and intermodal usage and you see that business is becoming sprightly again.

This is very good news and will certainly reverberate in the market and spark a new and vital confidence. You don’t break such records and mark up double digit percent plus increases without showing that the night is on the run and the sun is shining in.

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