Autumn 2017

Private Aviation & Premium Travel
Business takes off

Major business aviation and aerospace players are headed to the UAE this November for the prestigious Dubai Airshow

Key business aviation players from around the world will be flying in for the 2017 Dubai Airshow, which runs from November 12 to 16 at DWC, Dubai Airshow Site.

They include Dassault Aviation from France, Embraer from Brazil, Gain Jet from Greece, Gulfstream from the US, Jet Aviation of Switzerland and Nexus Flight Operations from Saudi Arabia, in addition to major names from the UAE such as DC Aviation, Empire Aviation, Falcon Aviation Services and Sonic Jet.

They join 1,200 exhibitors who will be looking to woo and do business with an estimated 72,500 trade visitors expected over the course of the biennial show, which is one of the biggest of its kind in the world.

The business aviation sector remains buoyant, according to various forecasts, with demand in the Middle East expected to grow.

Bombardier Business Aircraft’s market forecast predicts 350 deliveries valued at $12 billion over the next 10 years, with medium and large category aircraft accounting for about 95 per cent of these deliveries, while Boeing Business Jets has stated that the Middle East represents roughly one-third of its business.

With 12 per cent year-on-year regional growth reported, Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) Founding & Executive Chairman Ali Al Naqbi is confident that demand for the sector from across the region will continue to rise.

“Currently, the market is still favouring wide-body aircraft. Demand for mid-size and small-size is there too.  With increased demand from our members to be present at the Dubai Airshow in order to meet the big players, we can push the agenda under the MEBAA umbrella,” he says. 

“The business aviation sector is always highly represented at the Dubai Airshow,” says Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director of show organisers Tarsus F&E Middle East. “With the sector predicted to be worth $1.3 billion by 2020, 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.”


The air show continues to earn its reputation as the centre of the aerospace industry with exhibitors for the 2017 edition travelling from as far afield as Asia and Latin America in addition to large representations from both Europe and the Middle East. 

Saudi Arabia’s Alsalam Aerospace will be flying the flag for regional expertise, showing the world how it is leading the way in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), aircraft assembly and manufacturing and VIP completions.

With an almost equal percentage of exhibitors from Europe to those from the Middle East, plus many from further afield, the show will host representatives from the global aerospace industry.

In addition, almost one-fifth of the exhibitors at the five-day event will be travelling from the Americas with the majority of these hailing from the US and Canada. Among these are several first-time exhibitors including PBS Aerospace from the US and Vector Aerospace from Canada.

New exhibitors include Lubair Aviation from Hong Kong, Taurus Systems from South Korea, Bertin Technologies from France and TBS from Bulgaria.

“The Dubai Airshow has always represented the centre of the aerospace industry,” says van Akelijen. “Seeing the geographical representations of this year’s exhibitors, both new and returning, travelling to Dubai to be part of the show demonstrates that the Dubai Airshow really is the place for the industry to do business. We are looking forward to welcoming them all and of course to a successful show.”


Meanwhile, new features at the show, including the Space Pavilion, UAV Summit, Cargo Zone and the return of Airport Solutions, are set to bring focus to these sectors.

The Space Pavilion and conference is being held in partnership with the UAE Space Agency. Space exploration is a national priority for the UAE and this new feature has been developed to support the government’s objectives of building the region’s space sector. 

Exhibitors from around the globe are keen to be part of this growing market with Spain’s Aistech and Russia’s Reshetnev among those already committed to exhibiting. 

With the Middle East UAV market growing rapidly – both in terms of the number of UAVs operating in the region and also the increasing investment in manufacturing - it is fitting that the air show will feature a UAV pavilion and conference. The UAV Summit will include conference sessions with leading experts, a flying display and the UAV exhibition zone. 

The introduction of the Cargo Zone comes at a time when Al Maktoum International Airport now hosts the world’s largest cargo operations, boosting Dubai’s claim to transform into a key regional hub with a capacity to handle more than 12 million tonnes of cargo annually.

Airport Solutions Dubai, part of the Airport Solutions Global Series, will also feature in the show, bringing together the entire airports and aviation buying chain from manufacturers, airport operators, developers, regulators and investors, through to end users. Featuring a two-day programme, the conference will offer airport developers and suppliers the opportunity to interface with airports and aviation leaders on the demand side of the growth equation.

“It was the right time to make these focus points at the show. The response we have received has demonstrated that the market clearly has a need for these, and we are expecting all of our new features to be extremely busy,” concludes van Akelijen.

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