Bahrain airshow set to soar high on growth trajectory

Bahrain’s premier airshow is back with its sights set high for industry growth and development ahead of its 2024 edition.

The Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS) will be held in 14 months’ time from November 13 to 15 at Sakhir Airbase.

It is being held under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad, and under the supervision of his Personal Representative and BIAS Supreme Organising Committee chairman Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

The seventh edition of the airshow will once again be organised by the Transportation and Telecommunications Ministry and the Royal Bahrain Air Force (RBAF), in association with Farnborough International.

BIAS organising committee, led by Shaikh Abdulla, recently signed a Strategic Investment and Collaboration Partnership in London with ADS Group, the trade association for the UK’s aerospace, defence, security and space sectors to deliver a UK Pavilion at the airshow next year.

“With this framework, we aspire to create the foundation for UK participation at Bahrain International Airshow that meets the highest standards of excellence and contributes substantially to Bahrain’s and UK companies’ progress in the sectors,” explained BIAS director general Yousif Mahmoud.

“We’re proud to embark on this journey with ADS Group to strengthen our relationships with UK aerospace and defence organisations and drive collaboration across the region.”

ADS Group chief executive Kevin Craven added that formalising their commitment to BIAS 2024 is the latest enhancement to its international business development activities, adding that exhibitors on its ADS event portfolio are ‘up some 25 per cent year-on-year.’

“Bahrain International Airshow is a natural fit for the UK industry, with close and deep industrial collaboration taking place between the two nations,” added Mr Craven.

Industry heavyweights including Airbus, Boeing, US Gulf Stream, British BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Italian Leonardo, Rolls Royce, French Thales, Bell Helicopter and other companies took part in the last show in 2022.

Earlier this year, the RBAF expanded its fleet of aircraft, with the delivery of the first F-16 Block 70 fighter jet from Lockheed Martin, making the kingdom the first country in the world to receive the highly-equipped and advanced combat aircraft.

The RBAF also acquired three Bell 505 helicopters by Bell Textron to join the air force’s existing group of Bell 212 and multiple generations of AH-1 attack helicopters.

Business deals worth $1.8 billion were signed at the BIAS 2022, with more than 50,000 people attending the show over three days featuring more than 200 military and civil delegations, and 186 companies from more than 30 countries.

Organisers have said that since the 2022 airshow, the event continues to fly high, with multiple new partnerships signed, millions in investments announced and achieving a GDP growth of 4.9pc last year, the highest rate since 2013.

According to latest statistics 5.9 million visitors arrived in Bahrain over the first six months of this year, up from 3.9m during the same period last year, soaring by 51pc.




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