Orascom holds a 60% share in the JV picked to implement the project, which also comprises the UAE's Al Sahraa Group. The contract’s scope comprises main infrastructure works for the airport's expansion, including the extension of the existing runway, and the development of an air traffic control tower, an emergency runway, rapid exit taxiways, and special airport systems. In a press statement this March, Orascom said that the project reiterates its "strategy to pursue quality projects outside of Egypt, in sectors across the group’s core competencies".

In April, ADAC announced it would manage the Fujairah scheme’s construction phase, which will include third-party construction managers, design consultants, contractors, and other entities that are part of the expansion scheme. Commenting on the development, HE Abubaker Seddiq AlKhoori, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “We are excited to see the fruition of the close collaboration with the Department of Civil Aviation of the Emirate of Fujairah during the planning phase during the past few years.

“[ADAC] is determined to play a key role in the expansion programme for Fujairah International Airport. We have dedicated professionals to equip Fujairah Airport with the knowledge and tools on how to accommodate their growth and increased volume of travellers.”

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Contractor Orascom's aviation portfolio includes military and civilian airports the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia, where aviation development is recording growth as well. This May, Dammam Airports Company (DACO) signed agreements with Vanderlande and Serco Middle East to build a baggage handling system and bolster fire safety measures at Saudi’s King Fahd International Airport. DACO inked a deal with Vanderlande to build an automated baggage handling system, and a separate contract with Serco Middle East to install fire and rescue services at the airport. Serco Middle East’s contract with DACO paves the way for the installation of fire and rescue services at the airport. It the first time ever that a Saudi Arabian airport has used an international service provider for firefighting systems, according to DACO.

Privatisation is playing a pivotal role in the development of Saudi’s aviation sector. In June of last year, Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) signed contracts for the development and operations of five airports in the country. The contracts covered the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Taif International Airport, Qassem's Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al-Qassim Airport, Hail International Airport, and Prince Abdul Mohsen bin Abdul Aziz Airport in Yanbu.

A deal was signed with Singapore's Changi Airports International to operate King Abdulaziz International Airport for a 20-year period. Meanwhile, a contract to develop and operate the new Taif International Airport was inked with CCC and Munich Airport, in collaboration with Asyad Holding.

Ninety-five aviation projects are active in the GCC, with a combined value of $49bn, indicating the sector’s strong growth prospects in the years to come. Included within these – besides the airports listed above – are the $12bn-worth greenfield New Kuwait Airport, and the $4.6bn-worth passenger terminal expansion at Kuwait International Airport (KWI).

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The New Kuwait Airport, currently in the concept stage, and KWI's under-construction terminal expansion, are both due for completion in 2022. Of the 95 projects, 68 developments, worth $45bn, are airport and terminal projects, while the remaining 27, valued at $3bn, include hangar, runway, and ancillary facilities, according to data released by BNC Network.

The Middle East’s governments are pushing ahead with the development of aviation schemes as the region readies for Expo 2020 Dubai, and other similar high-profile events, in the years to come. Regional business leaders must consider expanding their aviation-savvy departments to keep up with this pace of development.