Emirates General Petroleum Corp (Emarat) has bought 25,000 tonnes of jet fuel for delivery in January on the back of robust demand in the Gulf region, industry sources said yesterday. Jet fuel demand has remained strong in the UAE even as European demand for the product has been lacklustre on a weak economy, they added. \"Jet demand is stronger than ever mainly because of the airports and fuelling business. More and more airline companies are expanding in this region due to its prime location,\" said a source familiar with the UAE market. Gulf carriers are intensifying competition with European rivals, who are struggling with the fallout of the Eurozone debt crisis. Airlines in the Middle East are forecast to have a 2.9 per cent earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) margin this year, more than three times that of European airlines, according to the International Air Transport Association. Emarat bought 25,000 tonnes of jet fuel for loading over January 22-25 from Oman Trading International at a premium of about $1.80 (Dh6.60) a barrel over Middle East quotes. The company decided not to buy two other similar-sized cargoes it was seeking for delivery over February and March on high offers.