With this year’s edition of MEBA opening today at the Dubai Airshow Site in Dubai World Central, all eyes are on the Middle East as the centre of the global aviation industry, with expectations for the Dubai Airshow, from 8-12 November 2015, firmly in their minds.
All the signs point to the region as a growth opportunity for the aerospace industry. Recent research has predicted that aviation will contribute $53.1 billion to Dubai's economy alone, 37.5% to its GDP and the industry will support over 750,000 jobs by 2020. Between 2014 and 2020, the contribution of the aviation sector to Dubai's economy is expected to grow at a faster rate than the economy as a whole, on the back of strong growth in international passenger traffic and cargo. The sector's airline and airport capacity continues to expand to accommodate for growing demand.
In addition, the first ten flights of the Residence by Etihad, the Abu Dhabi carrier's new first class service on it's A380 aircraft, have been completely sold out, according to the airline’s CEO, James Hogan, while the Emirates Group has announced its half-yearly results which show steady performance and growth, with revenues reaching AED 47.5 billion (US$ 12.9 billion) for the first six months of its 2014-15 fiscal year.
With the UAE demonstrating such industry strength, the region offers huge potential for overseas entrants, a fact which is recognised by many of the show’s international exhibitors. With returning exhibitors such as industry giants Boeing and Airbus and many companies, such as Bell Helicopters, Alpha Star and Tawazan increasing their footprints for 2015, the Dubai Airshow boasts a truly global representation of the aerospace industry.
Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director of organisers F&E Aerospace, says, “There is just under a year to go until the return of the Airshow and the interest that we are seeing is fantastic. It is wonderful to see how many industry heavyweights worldwide are recognising the potential of the region.”
In addition, the Dubai Airshow will again feature several country pavilions, including Australia, Canada, France, Turkey, the UK and the U.S. Pavilion. There are also a range of platforms for the discussion of key issues or aspects of the industry, such as Gulf Aviation Training Event (GATE) which places specific focus on aviation training needs.
Organised under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Airshow is held in co-operation with Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports and the UAE Armed Forces.