This year’s Dubai Airshow (November 12-16) will reflect the seemingly boundless growth potential of aviation in the Middle East, according to organizer F&E Aerospace, which cited Boeing market outlook statistics projecting a continued annual growth rate for the sector in the region of 3.8 percent. But increasingly, the biennial event’s reach extends beyond the Arabian Gulf states and the aerospace heartlands of Europe and North America, with a growing exhibitor and visitor presence from across Asia and Africa—and particularly from countries such as India and South Korea.
The 2017 Dubai Airshow will include the following four new features: a UAV conference and pavilion; a cargo zone with a conference focused on safety and security; a space pavilion in partnership with the Space Agency of the United Arab Emirates and its involvement in the Mission to Mars project; and an Airport Solutions pavilion and conference.
There will also be the fourth staging of the Gulf Aviation Training Event, which represents a dedicated sector within the four-day airshow, with a one-day conference on November 13. The Futures Day event on November 16, which focuses on attracting young people to pursue careers in the aviation industry, will have a new format.
“The response to the growth and innovation of the 2015 show, such as the Airport Solutions conference, and the inclusion of the space industry was phenomenal,” said F&E Aerospace managing director Michele van Akelijen. “It is only natural that the show continues to innovate to encompass an even wider range of aerospace markets, remaining the center of the industry.”
The show has benefitted greatly from the move to Dubai’s new Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central where far greater space is available than at the main Dubai International Airport. The site, which also now hosts the MEBAA business aviation event on alternate years, is set for further expansion to accommodate rising levels of scheduled airline traffic.
“The airshow this year will push up to the limits of the new airport, and we have expansion plans in the works,” concluded van Akelijen. But, as frequent visitors know, Dubai has never been afraid of expanding.
“We are seeing a great deal of interest from exhibitors who know that the Dubai Airshow is the ideal place to do business in the region,” van Akelijen told AIN. “In the Middle East, if you are not there to talk face-to-face, the deals won’t happen.”
Business aviation will have a big part to play in his year’s Dubai show. In fact, organizers have already confirmed that one quarter of the 160 aircraft anticipated on the static display will be business jets. Major aircraft manufacturers, such as Gulfstream, Embraer, Bombardier and Dassault, are already booked to exhibit, as are as local UAE-based companies like Sonic Jet and Falcon Aviation.
The most recent Middle East market forecast from Bombardier Business Aircraft predicts around 350 aircraft deliveries, worth a combined $12 billion, over the next 10 years, with medium- to large-size models accounting for 95 percent of these units. Boeing Business Jets has reported that the region now accounts for around one third of all its sales. F&E Aerospace predicts that business aviation in the region will be worth $1.3 billion by 2020.
AIN will once again publish its award-winning daily magazines at the Dubai Airshow on November 12, 13 and 14. Our team will provide comprehensive live coverage of all the news from the show and exclusive video reports.