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September 9, 2022

UAE’s GAAC signs final contract for Afghanistan’s airports

GAAC already secured contracts with the group to manage ground services and security.

UAE-based GAAC Holding has received a third and final contract from the Taliban administration to operate airports in Afghanistan, reported Reuters.

The contract is valid for ten years, Afghanistan transport and civil aviation ministry’s deputy head Ghulam Jelani Popal was cited as saying by the news agency.

UAE state-linked GAAC already secured contracts from the group to manage ground services and security.

The contracts are anticipated to help the Taliban emerge out of isolation as it struggles to gain recognition from foreign nations.

The implementation of sanctions has also crippled the economy of the country.

GAAC regional director and general manager Ibrahim Moarafi told reporters in Kabul that the contracts are expected to help bring back major international airlines to Afghanistan.

Moarafi was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We believe this is a significant development as it will bring economic benefits in terms of job creation.”

Earlier, the Taliban administration pursued Qatar and Turkey for handing over Kabul airport operations, with also the possibility of a joint UAE-Turkey-Qatar deal.

However, the Taliban ultimately opted for UAE to carry out the operations.

In May, the Taliban first agreed to hand over the responsibility of operating major airports in the country.

In this regard, Abu Dhabi’s GAAC Solutions agreed to manage three airports located in the Herat, Kabul and Kandahar regions.

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