Abu Dhabi Air Expo, the region's only general aviation exhibition, recorded a 30 per cent rise in visitors and sales totalling more than Dh3 billion (US$816.8 million).
The event, which was held at Al Bateen Executive Airport, welcomed 13,000 people over three days from March 5 to 7. About 160 companies exhibited at the show, including Gulfstream, which showcased its latest model, the G650, the fastest business jet on the market, which can fly from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi in about 13 hours.
"Adac [Abu Dhabi Airports Company] is delighted with the growing success of Abu Dhabi Air Expo, as Abu Dhabi's position as a key aviation hub for the region grows," said Yousif Hassan Al Hammadi, the chairman of the organising committee for Abu Dhabi Air Expo, and deputy general manager of Al Bateen airport.
Several important deals were also signed at the event, including a Dh538m agreement between Adac and Global Aerospace Logistics (Gal), regarding civil air navigation services.
The deal will involve UAE-based Gal taking over air navigation services at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Bateen airport, Al Ain International Airport, Sir Baniyas Island Airport and Delma Island Airport from May 1.
Royal Jet, the Abu Dhabi private plane operator, announced at the show that it planned to move from its current base at Abu Dhabi International Airport to Al Bateen, the Middle East's only dedicated airport for private jets.
In addition, further deals were signed between FlightSafety International and Gal for training, while SPA and Private Air completed an agreement related to cabin excellence.
More than two thirds of exhibitors, 70 per cent, registered for next year's event. "The atmosphere of the week, exhibitor registration for next year's show, the number of visitors welcomed, and the generated sales value are all clear indications that Air Expo has an essential place in the regional aviation calendar," said Mr Al Hammadi. "Al Bateen Executive Airport looks forward to Air Expo 2014, providing regional aviation enthusiasts with a rare opportunity to view the best products that the industry has to offer, and providing global aviation leaders with a platform to grow their businesses and engage with potential partners," he added.
The show was held under the patronage of Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the national security adviser and Vice-Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. It was also attended by Sheikh Surour bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the minister of higher education, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, the chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, and, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan.
The event included a daily air display performed by Al Fursan aerobatic team and Emirates Sky Diving team as well as a performance by Captain Zoltan Veres, the owner of five Guinness Book of World Records titles in aerobatic displays.