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Another Pillar of Macroeconomic Growth-Airport Construction Projects: Middle East and Africa by Ken Research

Posted on 08 June 2017 by KenResearch Manufacturing And Construction,

Investment activity in airport construction and spreading out remains high in fast-mounting regions of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa despite general listlessness in the global economy. Middle East and African Airports Construction Projects, has revealed growing investment in new airports and expansions continues to rise despite ongoing worldwide repercussions from the financial crisis in 2008-2009.

To cater the exponentially growing passenger and cargo traffic volume, African airports are undergoing fast expansion. The main demand to foster this rapid growth comes from tourism are the rise investment by foreign multinationals. Government authorities and developers are investing billions of dollars in dozens of airport expansion and rehabilitation works across Africa. In addition, air travel across the continent is predicted to experience a massive heave, which will continue to fuel the industry’s development. In particular, construction activity remains high in fast-growing regions of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa. The two regions outpace other global regions, with total planned investment in airport mega-projects worth airport construction projects valued of US$163.5 billion. The top 10 African countries (in terms of the value of their project pipelines) account for 83% of the total value of airport construction projects in the region, with a total of US$135.6 billion. These are, in order of project value, the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Angola, Iran, Ethiopia, Libya and Benin.

Projects at the execution stage have a total value of US$118.9 billion, while those in the planning stage total US$28.4 billion. With Dubai being the world’s busiest international airport and Saudi Arabia requiring more capacity to cater for the millions of pilgrims visiting every year, construction in the Middle East and Africa is following demand. In 2014, Africa initiated 40 new airport projects in a bid to expand its airport infrastructure. The continent also expedited privatisation of airlines. In Eastern Africa, Ethiopia has launched major infrastructure projects designed to expand the capacity for handling passengers passing through its capital’s airport. In Tanzania, plans are underway to expand and renovate Kilimanjaro International Airport at a cost of US$40m, which will see the airport handle more passengers and airlines. The airport upgrading project will involve construction of new terminal buildings, runways, aprons and taxiways, with completion expected by 2017. In North Africa, Egypt is undertaking refurbishment of Cairo International Airport Terminal 2 at a cost of USD 387 million by the Turkey-based Limak Holding.

The World Bank is financing the project, which would render a complex capable of handling 8.5 million passengers per year when completed this year. The UAE leads airport project investment in the region, with US$52.2 billion, followed by Qatar with US$23.0 billion and Saudi Arabia with US$17.8 billion. Related companies have successfully completed a range of airport projects. In doing so, they have become recognised as one of the leading international design and construction contractors in the Middle East and North Africa.

These regions saw the ability to deliver projects ranging from major international terminals, runways and associated infrastructure to regional and military airports. Services now encompass design, development, construction, operation, and maintenance.


  • Main passenger terminal buildings
  • Runways, taxiways and aprons
  • Hangars and maintenance facilities
  • Associated infrastructure including transport systems and fuel storage

The airport is a focal-point for the growth of business and tourism throughout the United Arab Emirates.  Although, the African aviation industry is still struggling because government support including subsidies is rare leaving then with less capacity to finance their expansion plans. Another hurdle that the African aviation industry is grappling with is the issue of security of its airspace. This has been exacerbated by accidents recorded in Africa, with the continent recently recording accidents higher than the global average. Partly to blame is inconsistency and slow pace of adoption of international-level security and safety standards and related regulations. The industry is all set to witness mammoth growth in coming years.


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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications