• 12 Oct
    A record number of exhibitors and visitors are expected at this year’s Dubai Airshow starting November 8

    The 2015 Dubai Airshow next month will be the biggest in its history with the expected number of trade visitors and exhibitors to top 2013s record show.

    Over 1,100 exhibitors have confirmed they will be at the show with 65,000 trade visitors expected to pass through the doors from Sunday November 8 to Thursday November 12, according to organisers F&E Aersopace. The last show, in 2013, had 1046 exhibitors and 60,692 visitors.

    “The Dubai Airshow is a platform for new aerospace technologies, it’s a platform for launches of new equipment, it’s all about the up to date information on the aerospace industry,” Michel van Akelijen, Managing Director of F&E Aersopace said at a pre-air show press conference in Dubai on Wednesday.

    The aircraft display area has been expanded to accommodate an expected 160 aircraft, including an Emirates Airbus A380 and a Qatar Executive G650ER. The organisers have also added additional car parking space.

    For the first time ever, there will be a 3D printing pavilion and the presence of the UAE Space Agency and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). There will also be a larger presence from UAE and United States companies and the air show will be performed by the UAE’s Al Fursan (The Knights) and Italy’s Frecce Tricolori.

    Organisers also said they looking at expanding the air show site by 10,000 square metres for the next show in 2017 but did not prove further details.

    Eurofighter returns

    A British Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon will again be at the Dubai Airshow, organisers said. In 2013, UK Prime Minister David Cameron made a surprise visit to Dubai a day before the air show in apparent push to sell the Eurofighter to the UAE. The Eurofigher is made by Britains BAE Systems, Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi and France’s Airbus Group. The UAE pulled out of talks a month later in December 2013.

    New air show date

    The 2015 air show has been brought forward by around a week compared to the 2013 show in hopes of avoiding a wash out after rains closed the 2013 show a day early. Suzanne Al Anani, Chief Executive of Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, said work has been done to avoid water getting into the site but noted that the 2013 storm was rare for Dubai.

    Aircraft orders

    Expectations are the show will not eclipse the 2013 record $206.1 billion in orders, according to organisers, which was largely thanks to huge orders from emirates etihad airways and Qatar Airways.

    On October 4, Emirates airline President Tim Clark reportedly said the carrier won’t be making an order at the show. Emirates is looking at variants of Boeing’s 787s and Airbus Group’s A350 but Clark said the airline won’t make a decision until next year.

    Etihad and Qatar Airways have been quiet in the lead up to this years show. And in June 2015, Qatar Airways ordered 14 Boeing 777s the same week Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) ordered 20 A330-300s and 30 A320s.

    Regional instability is also likely to deter orders from government-owned airlines in Yemen, Iraq and Libya where governments are battling insurgencies. It is also not clear if the Iranian’s will be there. Iran has said its airlines could order as many as 400 aircraft over the next decade once sanctions start to ease, which could be as soon as early 2016 — but no one from Iran has so far RSVP’d to the show, according to organisers.