Dubai VIP Terminal shrugs off Covid-19 and shatters growth records

The best-known VIP terminal catering to Dubai has seen a sharp uptick in business and private jets movements since July 2020 as the Emirate moves from recovery to growth as the Gulf city sheds the effect of the coronavirus.

The VIP terminal is not located at the Dubai International Airport [or DXB to use its IATA code] where Emirates passenger flights are hubbed and which has consistently ranked as the world’s busiest international airport but at the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub within the Al Maktoum International Airport [or DWC] in Jebel Ali.

The distance between DXB and DWC, which opened in 2010, is just over 60 kms and the two airports will soon be linked by a high-speed train connection.

DWC is one of the key features of the Dubai South residential, commercial and logistics complex which will eventually be combined into a huge free trade zone. The main air traffic into and out of DWC is that of Emirates Sky Cargo and their eleven Boeing 747 freighter jets.

According to a press release, VIP private jet movements during Q3 2020 nearly doubled with a growth of 93 percent compared with the same period in 2019. This followed a decline in figures leading up to April, heavily impacted by the effect of the pandemic on aviation and many other industries worldwide. But numbers began climbing in May and mid-June before they eventually surpassed last year’s performance during summer months.

Aviation vlogger Sam Chui was given a guided tour around the VIP facility of JetEx, one of three FBOs operating a private jet terminal. One of a kind duty free shopping options includes browsing [and buying] BMW and Rolls Royce sports cars

Medical travel and business-related movements by VIPs and high-net-worth individuals, together with holiday trips, accounted for the sharp increase in travel over the recent months. Additionally, with the UAE easing travel restrictions, the high demand for corporate jet movement was evident, said a statement.

Tahnoon Saif, pictured, the CEO of Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub, said: ‘By analysing the numbers, it’s reassuring to see the return of private jet travel given the circumstance we are all experiencing. Dubai has always been a business and vacation destination for the world and measures taken by the UAE government as a whole and the VIP terminal at Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub in specific have only reinforced the commitment to the sector, cushioning VIP traveller movement and reinforcing visits to Dubai as well outbound international trips.’

Tahnoon Saif, CEO of Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub

The VIP terminal is serviced by three fixed-base operators, or FBOs, as it has stringent sanitisation standards and polymerise chain reaction or PCR  coronavirus testing facilities in place, which enhanced and increased air traffic movements through the terminal. Additionally, medical teams for coronavirus testing are available 24/7 at the VIP terminal, with quick turnaround results.

Aviation represents over one-quarter of Dubai’s GDP.

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Charlie Charters is a former rugby union official and sports marketing executive turned thriller writer whose debut book Bolt Action was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2010.
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