UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DUBAI – 23 January 2019 – His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports; President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group today attended the SITA 2019 Kick-off for the Middle East, India and Africa region (MEIA) at the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai. HH Sheikh Ahmed, a prominent founder of Dubai's aviation industry, witnessed SITA's business objectives and outlook for key industry trends affecting the MEIA region in 2019.
Speaking at the event, SITA CEO Barbara Dalibard commented: “We are honored to welcome His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum at this event who has been at the forefront of Dubai's remarkable economic development over the past quarter of a century. His Highness has spearheaded the successful expansion of aviation, which now supports 28 per cent of Dubai's GDP.
Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India & Africa, said: “The aviation industry is going through tremendous change and we at SITA, believe we are well placed to support airports, airlines and other stakeholders across the region better manage this growth through the smart use of technology. The fact that the event was held in Dubai emphasizes the importance of the UAE to the global industry and that SITA continues to work with the country's airports and airlines to provide new, innovative solutions to support the industry's sustained growth.”
At the event, SITA highlighted that with the expected doubling of global passenger traffic over the next 20 years to 8.2-billion, technology will play an increasingly important role. This includes smoothing and speeding up every step of the passenger journey, improving baggage tracking to reduce the number of mishandled bags and helping airlines and airports drive more efficient passenger flow.
In 2019, SITA will also continue its focused exploration of key technologies such as biometrics, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence to drive new solutions to enhance the passenger experience and banish lines in airports.