Dubai Airshow Soars to New Heights in Strong Comeback for Aerospace and Defense Industries
The five-day show, held Nov. 14-18 at DWC, Dubai Airshow Site in Dubai, saw a 50% increase in trade visitor numbers over the 2019 pre-pandemic event as well as a 24% boost in overall attendance. Meanwhile, as an industry-leading hallmark show for facilitating thousands of in-person meetings, commercial deals and new partnerships, the order tally by closing day was U.S. $78 billion.
Douglas Emslie, CEO of Tarsus Group, said the event has been a testament to the resilience, robustness and adaptability of the aviation and aerospace industries to come back with such strength while also highlighting the critical role of in-person events in supporting business.
“The figures speak for themselves,” Emslie said. “Attendance at the show was exceptional, and the number of global senior executives from across the industries has never been higher than this year.
He added, “The Dubai Airshow is today recognized as a world-class platform that is shaping the future of the aerospace sector and we thank everyone involved, especially the UAE government, for helping to make the 2021 edition a resounding success.”
The show presented several new sectors and feature areas with a particular focus on new technologies, sustainability and industry innovation via a start-up hub and the Aerospace 2050 forum. In total, 148 countries were represented at the show, with 20 country pavilions and new-to-show countries, including Israel and the Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, the event featured 371 new exhibiting companies, more than 80 start-ups and more than 50 hours of thought-leadership content across cargo, sustainability, air traffic management and aerial mobility presented by more than 250 industry speakers.
Another highlight was the show’s signature aircraft display, which this year featured more than 160 commercial, military and private jets, including the latest Boeing 777x, Bombardier's Global 7500 and many more.
The energy on the show floor and vast static display area was palpable, as the industry was reunited following an unprecedented period of disruption. The 2021 edition of the show garnered extremely positive feedback from exhibitors, visitors and stakeholders, who praised the smooth-running nature of the show in challenging circumstances while giving the industry the opportunity to finally reconnect in person again.
“The Dubai Airshow is a great opportunity to meet our clients face-to-face, further strengthening our business relationships,” said Ziad Al Hamzi, CEO of Lufthansa Technik. “It is also a great place to reach out to potential customers and business partners and bring in business as the market continues to pick up.”
Brian Cobb, chief innovation officer at Cincinnati International Airport, spoke about his experience of the event as a speaker on the Tech Xplore & Cargo stages.
“Expert-led, timely content from cyber to commercialization of advancing tech provided stimulating perspectives for how our industry is rising past a post-pandemic state,” Cobb said. “The Dubai Airshow demonstrates on the ground and in the air aviation’s roaring comeback that powers talent and technology forward.”
Despite organizing the event against the backdrop of COVID-19, the Dubai Airshow team was determined to deliver an event that helped to both support the industry’s recovery and create its flight path to a more innovative, sustainable future.
Working closely with event partners, stakeholders and the UAE government, the show was produced in strict adherence with local guidelines to ensure the safety and comfort of all attendees. Measures such as mask wearing, thermal screening, deep sanitization and a revised show floor layout were in place throughout the event.
The next Dubai Airshow is scheduled for Nov. 12-16, 2023 at DWC, Dubai Airshow Site.