As the 2018 Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS) kicks off today, a spotlight on the Kingdom’s aviation and broader logistics industries could not be more timely. This is the fastest-growing airshow in the Middle East which is taking place at the Sakhir Airbase and offers attendees the opportunity to witness one of the most dynamic flying displays in the region.
The attendance of 11 of the world’s 15 largest aviation companies is a testament to the importance of Bahrain’s strategic location as a key access point to the $1.5 trillion Gulf market.
For the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), BIAS provides the perfect platform and venue for high-level meetings. The airshow, a fixture on the global aerospace events calendar, brings together international business and senior government figures from across the region to explore Bahrain’s investments and opportunities in the aviation industry, and its role as a key intermodal logistics hub.
According to consulting firm KPMG’s 2018 “Cost of Doing Business: Logistics” report, Bahrain far outranks its neighbours in terms of ease of doing business and cost-effectiveness within the sector. Citing an annual cost saving of between 33 and 43 per cent for logistics businesses operating in Bahrain in comparison to the GCC, the report highlights Bahrain’s competitive advantage in terms of expenses tied to manpower (lowest in the GCC), visa and permit acquisition, and living costs. Additionally, boasting the shortest transit time between seaport, airport and industrial zones within the GCC, Bahrain is positioned as the optimal regional touchpoint for fulfilment and e-commerce needs.
These factors contribute towards Bahrain’s long-standing position as the ideal base for businesses looking to access the GCC opportunity. A position that has been reinforced through decades of reform – shaping a supportive business environment, in line with the government’s strategy laid out in the Economic Vision 2030. A well-regulated and liberal economy, skilled local workforce and unparalleled regional connectivity reinforce our role as a strategic hub for aviation and logistics operations looking to meet growing commercial demand.
In 2016, contracts for two of the largest developments in Bahrain’s aviation industry were signed at BIAS. Today, the results of these deals are reflected in the new passenger terminal at Bahrain International Airport for which the first phase is due for completion in Q3 2019, and the purchase of Gulf Air’s new fleet of aircraft which is now in operation.
BIAS offers unprecedented business networking opportunities this year via its three-day military and commercial delegations programme, a focused conference component, on-floor knowledge theatre, and an exhibition hall situated in the hangar at Sakhir Airbase. BIAS also hosts attractions designed to keep guests of all ages entertained. Some of Bahrain’s most popular entertainers, including Khalid Fouad, Mo Zuwayed, Bannah and DJ Leil, plan to take the stage at BIAS’s public area for visitors to enjoy.
BIAS 2018 not only represents a period of communal pride across Bahrain, but also an economic engine of business development for the aviation and logistics industries in the Kingdom.
BIAS is held under the patronage of HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and under the supervision of HH Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Personal Representative of HM the King and Chairman of the Supreme Organising Committee. Further information about BIAS can be found by visiting www.bahraininternationalairshow.com. To learn more about recent updates to Bahrain’s logistics sector please visit https://bahrainedb.com/bahrain-logistics-zone/.