The 2nd Saudi Airport Exhibition (SAE) Promises to be a Landmark Event in KSA’s Aviation Sector
Scheduled for December 19 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center (RICEC), the 2nd Saudi Airport Exhibition (SAE) promises to be a landmark event in the Kingdom’s aviation sector. This year’s exhibition is poised to double in size, reflecting Saudi Arabia’s rapid aviation transformation. With over 250 global companies from 50 countries and 250 regional buyers expected, SAE is set to eclipse its debut edition, which hosted 150 exhibitors from 25 countries. Alongside the main exhibition, three co-located events will take place, including the inaugural Airport Excellence Awards, recognizing outstanding professionals and organizations in five distinct categories.
Matarat Holding, a subsidiary of the General Authority for Civil Aviation, serves as the Platinum Sponsor, with several prominent Saudi organizations as Gold and Badge Sponsors. Event Director Daksha Patel highlighted the Kingdom’s ongoing socio-economic and infrastructural metamorphosis, noting the economy surpassing the US$1 trillion mark ahead of the 2025 target.
The Kingdom’s Ambitious Aviation and Tourism Agenda
Saudi Arabia, as per the World Tourism Organization (WTO), ranks as the world’s second-fastest-growing tourism destination. The 2023 Saudi Airport Exhibition is expected to draw over 6000 international visitors and more than 600 delegates across various aviation sectors. The Kingdom is aggressively pursuing its ambition to become the world’s fifth-largest air passenger transit hub. This vision is evident in its plans to manage 330 million passengers and 4.5 million tons of air cargo by 2030. There are ambitious goals for enhanced connectivity from its 29 airports, including the expansion of the King Abdul-Aziz International Airport and the construction of the King Salman International Airport.
Under Vision 2030, a whopping US$100 billion is earmarked for the air transport sector, encompassing major new airport projects and expansions. This transformation also includes launching two state-owned airlines to accommodate the surge in visitors, capitalizing on the Kingdom’s liberalized visa regime introduced in 2019.
Global Aviation Issues Conference: A Confluence of Expertise
The Global Aviation Issues Conference, a significant part of the event, will convene experts worldwide to discuss various critical aviation topics. These sessions will delve into the current state and future of aviation, challenges and trends in the airline industry, regulatory frameworks, emerging technologies, air cargo, and logistics. The second day will pivot to themes like digital transformation, cybersecurity, workforce development, environmental challenges, and sustainable aviation, alongside discussions on resilience and collaborative problem-solving in aviation.
Recognizing Excellence and Empowering Women in Aviation
The SAE will be not only a stage for industry leaders to discuss airport expansion and passenger experience enhancement but also a venue to honor 15 entities with the Airport Excellence Awards across various categories. Additionally, the Women in Aviation (WIA) General Assembly, celebrating its 10th anniversary, will host over 500 attendees, including Saudi government officials and aviation leaders. This event underscores Vision 2030’s commitment to creating employment and training opportunities for Saudi women in the aviation sector.
Ariane Schipper, from Vanderlande, expressed enthusiasm about participating in the exhibition. With a strong presence in the Middle East for three decades, Vanderlande sees the exhibition as an opportunity to showcase its latest developments and expertise in airport digitalization to the vital Saudi aviation market.
With Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector experiencing such rapid growth and transformation, what other developments can we expect in the near future? Share your thoughts and insights in the comments section below.