Dubai is all set to host the biggest ever airshow this month as travel restrictions ease around the world and the aviation industry recovers from a turbulent spell brought about by the pandemic.
The five-day event will attract over 1,200 exhibitors from 148 countries at the Dubai World Central from November 14 to 18, 2021. In addition, more than 160 aircraft from leading manufacturers and airlines will be on static display while 80-plus startups and 20 country pavilions, including five new participants namely Brazil, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Israel will also be a part of the 17th edition of the show.
“Saudi hawks, Russian Knights, Indian Surya Kiran and Sarang as well as UAE’s Al Fursan aerobatic team will thrill visitors,” according to the organisers.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, said the airshow will be ‘futuristic’ and showcase the latest developments in mobility, aviation and space.
“The Dubai Airshow this year will be futuristic, modern, forward-looking, and creative. It will showcase the future of mobility, space exploration and defence as well as AI, digital transformation and more,” Sheikh Ahmed said while addressing a Press conference.
He said Dubai Airshow 2021 is set to be bigger and better than the 2019 event. It will showcase the critical role that aviation, aerospace, space and defence continue to play at a global level, he said.
“We are once again hosting important in-person events and returning to business normality thanks to the success of our approach and readiness. I was proud to see recently the successful start of Expo 2020 which has already welcomed people from across the world,” Sheikh Ahmed added.
He added that Dubai Airshow 2021 is a testament to the UAE and Dubai’s response to the pandemic, a pragmatic response that focused on protecting the health and well-being of the people as a top priority while minimising the impact of the crisis on the nation’s economy
“We are positive about deal-making announcement as the aviation industry is recovering fast from the pandemic. Emirates will also be making some announcement at the show,” he said.
On-site sales topped $54.5 billion at the previous event in 2019.
Sheikh Ahmed said Emirates will hold talks with US aviation giant Boeing over the delayed 777X “before and during” this month’s Dubai Airshow.
“There will be a discussion before and during the air show,” he said.
Emirates announced an order of 150 777Xs at the 2013 Dubai Air Show and later revised the deal. The airline has repeatedly complained about the delivery of the long-haul jet, whose launch has been set back by a series of safety and technical problems.
Boeing had orginally planned to deliver the 777X in June 2020 but is now targeting late 2023. In May, Emirates president Tim Clark was quoted as saying he feared a delay until 2025.
Tim Hawes, managing director of Tarsus Aerospace, said more than 80,000 visitors are expected at the show, which will be held with mandatory masks and social distancing.
“The 17th edition of Dubai Airshow will bring together high-profile figures from the aerospace and defence industry together,” he said.
This year, Dubai Airshow will have a major focus on new technologies where exhibitors will be showcasing the latest innovation and state-of-the-art solutions. The brand new conference stage, Tech Xplore, will highlight how emerging technologies are helping reboot aviation and changing the entire flying experience. There will be new conferences focusing on trending aerospace topics like advanced aerial mobility, sustainability, and space, air traffic and cargo.
“The role of start-ups and entrepreneurs within the sector will also be centre stage, with the new East-West startup hub Vista,” Hawes said.
The global aerospace event will be held with the support of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports, the UAE Ministry of Defence and Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, and organised by Tarsus Middle East.