by Kevin Rozario (London, United Kingdom)
Just over 500 delegates have registered for the ninth Arab Aviation Summit, well above last year’s level of attendees. What do they hope to achieve this time around?
The event, themed Roadmap to Recovery, brings together over 30 global experts to discuss the impact of the pandemic and its aftermath, and what the road to recovery might look like in 2022, especially now that restrictions are being lifted in multiple regions.
Curtis Grad, CEO and founding partner of Modalis Infrastructure Partners, the parent company of AirportIR, will moderate a panel touching on Airport Sustainability & Future Developments as well as review the airport deal pipeline for the region and possibly also examine the potential for vertiports.
AAS is endorsed by several governments in the region and has previously been held in a number of different Arab counties. This year, as in 2021, it is hosted in collaboration with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority at Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Centre and is supported by partners including Airbus and Air Arabia.
Uniting Aviation & Tourism
Speakers will discuss the joint role that aviation and tourism can play in speeding up a post-pandemic economic recovery. This edition will push for stronger stakeholder collaboration and look to strengthen the natural linkage between these two key sectors.
Both of them have positive spillover effects in domestic economies through their impact on other business areas. This is valuable in creating an “economic diversification” narrative for parts of the Middle East region. A white paper, based on deliberations of participants, will be presented at the close of the summit. Previous white papers are also available to download now.
Among the keynote speakers are CEOs, presidents, and global aviation and tourism experts and policy makers. They include:
- Abdul Wahab Teffaha, secretary general, Arab Air Carriers Organisation
- Kamil Al-Awadhi, regional vice president – Africa and the Middle East, IATA
- Athanasios Titonis, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport
- Adel Al Ali, Group CEO, Air Arabia
- Raki Phillips, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority
- Mikail Houari, President, Airbus Africa Middle East
- Maen Razouqi, CEO, Kuwait Airways
- Majid Khan, Vice President of aviation development, Istanbul Airport
- Henk van der Velde, Regional Director, Trip.com
- Ismail Ali Adulla, CEO, Strata Manufacturing PJSC
- Omar Seraj Akbar, CEO, Zamzam
- Thoyyib Mohamed, CEO and Managing Director Visit Maldives
- Ismail Ali Abdulla, CEO, Strata Manufacturing
- Vijay Arumbakkam, CEO and Co-founder of Vaayu Group
- Filip Maksymilian Bloch, CEO, Hotailors
- Basmah Al-Mayman, Regional Director of the Middle East UNWTO
- Ilin Dimitrov, Chairman of Tourism Commission, Bulgaria Parliament
- Muzzammil Ahussain, Executive Vice President, Travel, Seera Group.
Showcasing the summit as more successful than last year will be an aim underscored by dialogue that combines private and public sectors. More delegates will be present this year with some excitement in the air. Now it is a case of convincing industry stakeholders to come together and find common ground to fully leverage the recovery.
The Arab Aviation Summit’s wider ambition is to improve the state of Arab aviation and tourism by facilitating public-private dialogue. As well as a strong line-up of experts, the event organizer claims that AAS attracts “the largest assembly of Arab media” plus top executives from aviation and tourism. For further information about the event, and for live updates once it starts click here.
A summary video of last year’s summit .
[Main image: Speakers pose for a photo at last year’s summit.]