THE DUBAI AIRSHOW 2019

News — 09.12.19
 

It was records all the way at this year’s Dubai Airshow, with a record amount of VIPs, industry professionals and military personnel attending the show. Exhibitors, delegates and sponsors all hailed the events a huge success, with sales of $54.5 billion being recorded as the show came to a close.

EXHIBITORS

Unlike many airshows across the globe that concentrate on the ‘show’ side of things, Dubai is all about the business – and big business it is. This year, there were more than 1,288 exhibitors in attendance, matched by an equally impressive static display featuring 161 aircraft ranging from an electric race plane, to fighter jets. All in all, the programme was the show’s busiest to date – as proved by the impressive footfall of 84043 trade attendees.

 

To hopefully signal a boost in the industry, the show welcomed over 100 new exhibitors, including Saudi Arabia’s The Helicopter Company, which was also a key event sponsor. “Very successful!” was CEO Yahya Homoud Alghoraibi’s answer when asked how the show had been. “We have done more than we expected, we have met and had discussions with a lot of companies and we have seen a lot of customers and shown our aircraft to many people as well, so we are very happy with what has taken place. We are a new company, so relationships matter a lot. Communication matters as well, and Dubai Airshow is one of the best communicators.”

Another business making its debut was EDGE, a group comprising of 25 local entities working in five aerospace clusters, which launched shortly before the show. Among the firms sitting under the EDGE umbrella is Al-Tariq, and its CEO Theunis Botha said the Dubai Airshow had been a great way to establish the brand’s presence in the region. “EDGE has been very well received. We have been very busy and have been inundated with requests and interest from several friendly nations around us. I think we’ve had an excellent show, with lively interest in the product range that we’re offering, and this is exciting stuff.”

 

NETWORKING

There was also a packed schedule of specialty conferences – something for everyone, at every level. These offered industry-specific keynotes, Q&A sessions and networking opportunities, attracting huge crowds of professionals, eager to gain valuable information, advice and leads.

“The Dubai Airshow always brings together deep, global expertise to enable the sector to embrace and drive the future. This gathering is critical for all sector stakeholders, more so given the continued exponential impact of technology on all aspects of aviation and the shifts in the global economic backdrop.”

 

THE FINAL FRONTIER

The space race was very much lifting off at the Dubai Air Show, with the sector showing a growing focus on space exploration. This was recognised with a space exploration conference programme, opening with Women in Space. This was hosted by the UAE Space Agency and featured speakers from the UN and Boeing. Aimed at examining the key role female scientists, researchers, engineers and astronauts will play in the future of the global space industry, the conference proved a huge draw and former astronaut, the European Space Agency’s Claudie Haigneré, said she found the level of engagement very encouraging. “I felt that really something is going on here, and I’ve been really impressed because this shows a real possibility for change. The new generation coming up here is so refreshing.”

In other areas, The Space Tech Talks took an in-depth look at the technological advancements needed for the next generation of space explorers, and the impact exploration is expected to have on the wider world. Indeed, the impact of both technology and space research on all aspects of industry was evidenced across the show floor, where exhibits ranging from Dubai Police’s new flying bike for hard to reach emergencies, to new products in the medivac field, through to the first commercial space flight suits from Virgin Galactic, were all on show.

 

FINAL SAY

Commenting on the what we can expect from the aviation sector in the UAE over the coming years was Avtar Jalif, Partner at KPMG Lower Gulf said: “Aviation shapes the economic and social landscape of the region, and the UAE in particular. The airlines in the UAE have managed to address headwinds during 2019 resulting from a potentially challenging economic and geo-political regional and global backdrop, by strategically moderating their fleet capacity, driving traffic through Dubai and Abu Dhabi and taking advantage of comparatively low fuel prices.

“These strategic moves will continue to shape their business models in 2020 and the coming years. The sector should benefit from a significant boost in passenger flow through the UAE during EXPO 2020 and alignment of fleets, operations and networks as new airport capacity comes on stream, such as the new Mid-field terminal at Abu Dhabi Airport and Dubai World Central in Dubai. The UAE airlines are also focused on seeking gaps in the market, such as the recent announcement of the launch of an Abu Dhabi-based budget carrier jointly by Etihad Airways and Air Arabia.

“The Dubai Airshow always brings together deep, global expertise to enable the sector to embrace and drive the future. This gathering is critical for all sector stakeholders, more so given the continued exponential impact of technology on all aspects of aviation and the shifts in the global economic backdrop.”

 

DUBAI AIR SHOW 2021

Commenting on the show’s culmination, Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director of show organisers Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East, said: “We always want to outperform our last show, and 2019 has gone above and beyond expectation, with so much great business being done alongside an engaging and innovative programme of conferences, exhibits and flying displays.

“We have already seen exhibitors rebooking for the next edition, and we look forward greatly to seeing what the next two years of aerospace development will bring to out 2021 edition.”


The Dubai Airshow will return from the 14th to the 18th of November 2021.

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