|Touted as the biggest airshow since the start of the covid19-pandemic, Dubai Airshow set the bar high for its 2021. In the 50th anniversary year of the United Arab Emirates and coinciding with the 2020 World Expo, Dubai was the certainly the centerpoint of attention at the time. Would the show fulfil its ambitions?
The Dubai Airshow is a tradeshow aimed at professionals and as such, is not open to the general public. However, after an absence since 2015, the Skyview grandstand at the extreme right of the display area was operational again, meaning that those interested could still get a view of the action at the show, and it was certainly more popular than a few years ago.
The show is held at a purpose-built site at Al Makhtoum airport in Dubai South, Dubai’s second large civilian airport and now the focal point of new construction work in the area. The show consists of a large exhibition hall where companies have impressive stands and enclosures, a ramp where the static display is parked opposite the corporate chalets, and from where the people attending the show can view the flying display. The ramp is only accessible for those attending the Dubai Airshow and not to the public in the Skyview grandstand.
The exhibition hall was also the venue for several interesting keynote speeches on a variety of topics related to sustainability, operations management and logistics among other topics, and a considerable crowd attended these engaging lectures and debates.
The flying display drew some unique participants and was unhindered by the weather for once, only one day seeing a mild sandstorm which didn’t impede the action at all. As usual, the display differed from day to day and not all participants flew on each of the showdays. The flying display ran uninterruptedly from 14:00 until 17:00 from Sunday to Thursday. On Sunday, the first day, there was a one-off flypast by the airlines of the United Arab Emirates and most of the military aircraft in its inventory.
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Undoubted stars of the show was the significant contingent that came over from India, with 2 demonstration teams and their new indigenous Tejas fighter, but there were plenty of novelties to discover both in the air and on the ground.
The Dubai airshow was certainly successful from a commercial point of view with an orderbook of over 74 billion US Dollars, but also from a PR perspective with 387 official delegations from 97 countries to conduct that big business.
The event undisputedly came back strong and goes from strength to strength, living up to its reputation as one of the world’s premier tradeshows. The next show will be held from 12 to 16 November 2023.
|Report by Chris Janssens
Lay-out and content by Chris Janssens, 2005 - present