Earlier this year, the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub launched alongside the new e-commerce zone within Dubai South’s Logistics District, the EZDubai.
With a total of AED 17 billion (£3.5 billion) of government and private sector investment, the Mohammad bin Rashid Aerospace Hub is designed to create an effective value chain for the aerospace sector and increase the GDP contribution of advanced industries to the United Arab Emirates’ economic growth.
The 6.7 square kilometre Aerospace Hub includes a commercial strip, maintenance and technical support, business aviation, education and R&D.
Formerly named the Aviation District, the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub is home to a VIP Terminal facility which hosts some of the world’s leading Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) for private jets, including Falcon Aviation, JETEX and Jet Aviation.
Tahnoon Saif, CEO, Dubai South, told FINN: “The [Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub] project actually started in 2014, responding to the urgent market needs” of the move from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Al Maktoum.
He said the VIP terminal was developed first, followed by the Emirates Pilot Academy, but that the master plan was only completed recently.
He added: “This focuses more on the industry [rather than] commercial aspects such as offices etc.”
There are different verticals in the hub, Saif explained, including FBOs and MRO (maintenance, repair & overhaul) providers.
“We are fully satisfied with general aviation in terms of FBOs and MROs,” Saif commented. “We concluded five deals with maintenance centres.”
He added: “Now we are focusing on MRO for commercial airlines. We have partners like Lufthansa Technik. They started with us less than three years ago and they have expanded to twice the size in the last year and are in discussions to expand further.”
GE is also in the aerospace hub as well as Boeing who signed to have their regional distribution centre and regional headquarters there.
“We are getting a very positive response from the industry, “Saif said, noting that so far the facility has been developed much faster than expected.”
Under initial plans, the entire facility was expected to take 20 years to complete.
According to Saif: “We are expecting by 2030 to have the Hub completed. So far we have 30% of the infrastructure developed.”