Paris Air Show

Dubai Airshow expects record exhibitor turnout

 - June 17, 2009, 10:02 AM

The organizers of this year’s Dubai Airshow (November 15 to 19) expect to break all existing exhibition space records with the addition of a fourth hall, sponsored and hosted by Dubai-based Emirates. The biennial airshow will feature a new Emirates Hall, which will cover 75,616 sq ft, including 53,820 sq ft for exhibition stands. The additions will raise the total airshow area to 3.5 million square feet.

“The global aviation industry is currently undergoing the most challenging period in its history and is now looking to the Middle East, where aerospace suppliers and service providers have managed to weather the economic maelstrom better than elsewhere,” said Alison Weller, aerospace director for show organizer Fairs & Exhibitions.

The temporary structure will feature its own entrance and a reception for registration to facilitate smooth and speedy access for exhibitors and visitors. The new configuration of the show site also promises improved road access and car parking. The space available in the additional hall has allowed organizers to widen the aisles between stands.

The Emirates Hall–the show’s fourth exhibit hall–will also serve as the new home for an enlarged, 12,900-sq-ft press center, giving the media an increased area to work and network, plus bigger and better facilities for press conferences and media briefings. In addition to Emirates itself, the new hall will also accommodate EADS, Airbus, Dubai Airports, Lufthansa Technik and Abu Dhabi Airports Company.

More Chalet Space

Meanwhile, this, the 11th running of the Dubai Airshow, will offer exhibitors an additional 13 double-story hospitality chalets and increase the floor space of all two-story chalets by 430 sq ft. The chalets will now sport a blue-and-white striped roof, to reflect Dubai Airshow’s blue branding.

The 2007 Dubai show was a sell-out and organizers felt compelled to develop additional facilities after a Dubai government decision late last year that the event would not be able to make its anticipated move to the new Al Maktoum International Airport at Jebel Ali. “Due to the downturn in the market we won’t grow as much as we had anticipated this year, but the Middle East is still on a growth curve and there are new companies coming into the region,” Weller told AIN. “We have not had many cancellations but there is some reduction in presence for some companies. The exhibitors still see the value of being here and we will still see the same level of delegations and royalty.”

The slowdown of Dubai’s previously rampant economy has created a perception that the wider Middle Eastern economy may be cooling. But Weller pointed out that there is still air transport and aerospace expansion in the region, partly through companies such as Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala and Etihad Airways, as well as in other Arabian Gulf states, such as Qatar.