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Largest ever Dubai Airshow barometer for huge Mid-East aviation growth, says hh Sheikh Ahmed
Largest ever Dubai Airshow barometer for huge Mid-East aviation growth, says hh Sheikh Ahmed

The 10th edition of the Dubai Airshow, which is completely sold out, has smashed all the international event’s previous records of size, exhibitor and aircraft numbers and aircraft displayed as it readies for its final showing at the Airport Expo Dubai next week and prepares for its 2009 move to a new, purpose-built facility at Dubai World Central, the huge urban aviation community being built in Jebel Ali, 30 kilometres north of Dubai city centre.

With 850 exhibitors from 50 countries – a 40% increase on 2005 participation - and covering more than 35,000 square metres, with more than 140 aircraft on display, Dubai Airshow 2007, which runs from November 11-15, has resoundingly stamped its authority on the international aviation arena and secured its mantle as the world’s third largest global aerospace event after Le Bourget in Paris and Farnborough in the UK.

“The scale of growth in the show over the past two years – which amounts to some 40% in booked floor space, reflects the massive growth the Middle East’s aviation industry is experiencing across all segments,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), and Chairman of Dubai Airports. “Regional carriers are expanding fleets and networks, there is huge investment in the region’s aviation infrastructure, the aviation service sector is attracting a considerable influx in FDI, and the training and development of the industry’s regional talent pool is moving forward at pace.

“Once again the Dubai Airshow is proving to be a barometer of Middle East aviation growth and with this year’s event being the largest in the event’s 18 year history there is a clear signal that the global aerospace industry is now prioritising activities in this region.”

Fairs & Exhibitions (F&E), which organises the show in conjunction with Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Dubai Airports and in collaboration with the UAE Armed Forces, has managed to accommodate growth despite space restrictions at Airport Expo Dubai.

“We have been creative in floor space planning, narrowing aisles, increasing outdoor pavilion space and even using space under stair wells to satisfy unprecedented demand,” said Virginia Kern, Chairman, F&E. “We are also in the happy position of already receiving requests for space allocation at the 2009 event, which we can now accommodate with greater ease thanks to the investment of the Dubai Government in the new, purpose-built site in Jebel Ali.”

F&E says the geographic appeal of the Dubai Airshow is now spreading, resulting in huge demand from new-to-market exhibitors.

“This year we have some 130 newcomers from 24 countries – which accounts for more than 10% of the overall exhibitor profile,” explained Alison Weller, Director - Aerospace, F&E. “If past experience is anything to go by, these newcomers will achieve considerable business results which will lead them to want to expand their space next time around.”

This year’s show has also first-time representation from five countries - the Cayman Islands, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Luxembourg.

“And with 11 national pavilions, 91 chalets and 15 outdoor pavilions – up from five in 2005 – it truly is a house-full scenario,” explained Weller.

National pavilions at the show will represent Austria, Canada, France, Germany, India, Jordan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the Ukraine, UK and USA. “We have all the biggest names in the business, both from a civil and military perspective, as well as a host of newcomers, some of which are set to be powerful regional and international influencers,” said Weller.

Dubai Airshow 2007’s expansive aircraft fleet also encompasses a number of new-to-market models ranging from strike fighters to trainers, from VIP business jets to heavy cargo carriers and the latest in the very light jet (VLJ) range.

This will include regional debuts from the Cirrus SR22 G3 – the world’s fastest-selling, single-engined, four-seater aircraft; the Eclipse 500, the VLJ forerunner; the Dassault Falcon 7X, the original ‘fly-by-wire’ long-range business jet; the Sino Swearingen SJ30, the world’s fastest, longest-range light jet and the MD 902 helicopter with its patented, state-of-the-art no-tail-rotor technology.

The Airbus A380 superjumbo will be back for the show’s daily flying display which will also see military giants fly including the Russian MIG 29 multi-role fighter aircraft, the block 60 Lockheed Martin F-16, one of the most popular attack aircraft in its class, the USAF’s legendary fighter and the F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter attack.

Three international aerobatics team will also feature in the daily flying display. These are Britain’s Red Arrows flying the BAE Hawk, the Patrouille de France in the Dassault/Dornier AlphaJet and Spain’s Patrulla Aguila, which is making its Arabian Gulf debut in the Casa C-101 Aviojet.

In addition, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), the global aerospace manufacturing and services corporation headquartered in the emirate, is to also make its debut for 2007 as the event’s first-ever host-sponsor.

“It’s very much a ‘new-look’ show for its Airport Expo Dubai departure,” said Weller. “And it hints at a taste of what is to come in the two years going forward.”

The show is also set to have its largest-ever delegations programme with top civil and military officials from 77 countries having been invited to attend in a programme devised by DCAA, Dubai Airports, the UAE Ministry of Defence and the UAE Airforce.

“No-one should under-estimate the power of the delegations programme in ensuring Dubai lives up to its hard-earned reputation of delivering B2B results in an industry-only setting,” said Weller. “This delegations programme has repeatedly ensured that exhibitors meet real decision-makers who they would otherwise find almost impossible to access.”

The new Dubai Airshow site, at Dubai Exhibition World in Jebel Ali, is again set to lift the benchmark for world-class aerospace show facilities. It will cover 425,000 square metres – double the size of Airport Expo Dubai – with 42,000 square metres of exhibition space earmarked for the 2009 event.

“Expansion will be phased in as the show continues to develop with an overall capacity of 70,000 square metres possible,” said Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman, Dubai World Central. “Another USP will be that from 2012, the site will be linked to the Dubai Metro, the emirate-wide mass transport system, the first phase of which is currently under construction.

“We will also increase the chalet line for the 2009 outing, with plans to accommodate more than 130 per show. Car parking facilities will also be significantly increased with space for more than 4,000 cars available, rising to 7,000 for subsequent events. In addition, the reception building and support facilities will more than double with 20,000 square metres made available for the next show, rising to 35,000 square metres going forward. Under the directives of the Dubai Government we are totally committed to delivering a world-class site for a global event and one which reflects the high international standards for which this emirate is now renowned.”

Dubai Airshow 2007 is open to industry-linked visitors only with a turnout of 40,000 aviation professionals anticipated. The show will be open daily from 10am -5.30pm with the daily flying display running from 2.00-4.30pm. Visitor tickets are available from the box office at Airport Expo Dubai.

About Fairs & Exhibitions’ Aerospace Division:

Fairs & Exhibitions (F&E) is one of the most influential names in the aerospace industry’s events sector having conceptualized the Dubai Airshow and organised it, in conjunction with the Department of Civil Aviation, Government of Dubai and in collaboration with the UAE Armed Forces, since its inception in 1989. This year marks the 10th anniversary edition of the Dubai Airshow with Dubai 2007 taking place at the Airport Expo in November.

F&E, which maintains offices in London and Dubai, has widespread and long-standing relationships with the global aerospace industry, an in-depth knowledge of the industry it serves and a hard-earned reputation for delivering event excellence.

The company also organises the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) conference and exhibition on behalf of the Middle East Business Aviation Association. MEBA is now a biennial event with the 2008 edition scheduled for November next year.

Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) is a new event emerging from F&E’s dedicated Aerospace Division. It will be held at the Airport Expo Dubai in June 2008 and will service the region’s rapidly developing commercial and business aviation fleets.

The Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Middle East Exhibition & Conference is the latest event to be added to F&E’s growing portfolio. The event will be organised in conjunction with AVIATION WEEK, which has an excellent track record of organising MRO events. The inaugural event is to be held in the beginning of 2009 to cater to growing regional demand for MRO services.


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