In this exclusive interview, Valerio Soldani, Director of the Italian Trade Agency Dubai Office, shares his  perspectives with Megha Mary Mathews on Italy’s robust participation in the Airport Show. He discusses the  significance of the dedicated Italy Pavilion, the representation of Italian companies in the aviation sector, and the  future of trade and investment between Italy and the UAE.

Could you share insights into Italy’s  participation at the Airport Show,  including the significance of the  dedicated country pavilion and the  representation of Italian companies in  the aviation sector? 

The Airport Show is an important  meeting point for the industry and  presents a great opportunity for the  Italian Trade Agency to showcase the  best of ‘Made in Italy’ excellence in  airport technologies and services.

At this year’s Italy Pavilion, we are  presenting 28 exceptional companies  demonstrating cutting-edge solutions,  from air traffic management systems to  

sustainable engineering. Our goal is to  showcase our advanced products and  forge partnerships while exploring new  opportunities in the UAE market, a key  partner for Italy. 

The companies featured in the Italy  Pavilion represent an ecosystem with  over 70% of their turnover from exports.  They offer solutions aligned with the  UAE’s vision for expanding airport  investments and projects.  

We’ve partnered with Air Tech Italy,  a leading industrial association in this  field, representing companies that have  supplied over 150 airports worldwide  and installed leading tech solutions in 60 major international airports.  These companies are deploying AI,  deep learning, and smart technology  integration to deliver market-ready products and services.

How do you envision the future of trade  and investment between Italy and the  UAE in the aviation sector, especially  in light of recent global challenges and  opportunities? 

We anticipate a dynamic landscape for  trade and investment between Italy  and the UAE in the aviation sector,  underpinned by our mutual dedication  to innovation and excellence. Over 1,000  Italian companies are already established in the UAE, reflecting a thriving business  relationship.

The trade exchange reaching $9.4 billion  in 2023 is particularly significant, with  Italian exports to the UAE accounting for  $7 billion of this total, driving substantial  growth in our trade partnership. 

How does the Italian government  support its aviation industry in the  UAE, particularly in terms of research  and development, talent development,  and international collaboration?

Our Italy Pavilion at the Airport Show  exemplifies ITA’s efforts to facilitate  connections for leading Italian  companies, fostering new relationships  and business opportunities. We highlight  the immense potential of Italian  ingenuity to investors, demonstrating  how collaboration with key players  fuels innovation and cultivates efficient  production processes. 

ITA plays a central role in addressing  challenges by providing a comprehensive  platform that includes company training,  trade shows, tailored export-focused  services for foreign markets, lead  generation activities to attract investors,  and more, serving as a one-stop-shop  for engaging with the Italian ecosystem  from abroad.

Looking ahead, what opportunities do  you see for further cooperation and  partnership between Italy and the UAE  in the aviation industry, and how can  the Embassy support and facilitate these efforts?

The aviation sector is rapidly expanding  here in the UAE, highlighted by the  4 billion Sharjah Airport expansion  project, which will be completed by  2026, and the development of the new  Al Maktoum International Airport,  set to become the world’s largest upon  completion.  

This growth presents abundant  opportunities for foreign investment  and collaboration with Italian companies  that have extensive expertise in the field,  capable of contributing their know-how  to the UAE’s burgeoning aviation sector.

Valerio Soldani
“Director of the Italian Trade Agency Dubai Office

The aviation sector is rapidly expanding here in the UAE, highlighted by the 4 billion Sharjah Airport expansion project, which will be completed by 2026, and the development of the new Al Maktoum International Airport, set to become the world’s largest upon completion.”


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