THE DUBAI AIRSHOW 2021
There was plenty to celebrate at this year’s event after a turbulent time in the aviation industry.
The 2019 edition of the Dubai Air Show was a record-breaker. The site at Dubai World Central received 84,043 trade visitors, 1,200 exhibitors, and representatives from over 147 countries. Sales of $54.5 billion were recorded at the event’s close and at the time, hopes were high that the 2020 event could be even more successful. A year later and the world was just emerging from lockdown. Every event across the globe had been canceled and it wasn’t until the rollout of vaccines that life had begun to return to normality.
The announcement that the Dubai Air Show 2021 would go ahead was a huge boost to the Middle East market. NBAA-BACE had taken place successfully back in October, and hopes were high that Dubai could give Las Vegas a run for its money.
Pre-show hype was conservative, however, as the Dubai Air Show opened on the 14th of November, it was clear that the industry was eager to get down to business once again.
Dubai is and has always been about business. The flying displays held in the afternoon are a great way of zoning out and enjoying the sight of elite pilots doing their thing, but for the rest of the show, it’s all about trade.
This year there were over 20 country pavilions on site, with 371 companies exhibiting and an encouraging 80+ startups sharing the indoor floor space. Although down on the previous event, business was brisk, with the usual deals being made across the show and in meetings around the event.
Out on the tarmac there were over 160 commercial, military, and private jets, including the latest Boeing 777X and Bombardier’s Global 7500. It was great to get up close and personal with the major brands and finally get to see some of the latest aircraft.
NETWORKING AND CONFERENCES
This year’s event had a full schedule of specialty conferences covering a wide range of topics and all were extremely well attended by the industry. From the startup talks to the big name delegate interviews, it was a struggle to find seating at times, a testament to the quality of topics and chaired speakers. All in all, there was over 50 hours of talks with 250 industry speakers covering content across cargo, sustainability, air traffic management and aerial mobility.
NBAA-BACE had taken place successfully back in October, and hopes were high that Dubai could give Las Vegas a run for its money.
Covering Ministerial interviews, Astronaut fireside chats and airline CEO dialogues was the Fish Tank Talks, while the Dubai Air Show app facilitated business matchmaking based on visitors’ profiles.
Extra range: Aurus’ SSJ100 Superjet had an additional fuel system that upped its range to over 3,887 nautical miles.
Enabling future industry businesses was the Vista Startup Hub which was hosted alongside the main show. Here aerospace startups were given the opportunity to meet with investors and key decision-makers. Over the 5 days, there were numerous mentorship clinics, workshops and meetings, highlighting the importance the aerospace industry puts on up-and-coming idea makers.
Global reach This year’s show featured over 20 country pavilions and 371 exhibitors.
At the time of writing, we have no official numbers, but we will update you online on www.altitudesmagazine.com. For the moment, we can look back on a hugely successful show and the industry can look forward to the 12th to the 16th of November 2023 when the Dubai Airshow returns to DWC.