WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE REGION’S BIGGEST AVIATION EVENT
The Middle East has been the rising star of the aerospace industry over the last two decades bolstered by a natural strategic location and concerted efforts from operators and governments to foster the market. Middle Eastern growth is fuelled by passenger numbers and a clear eastward movement of the global centre of activity. The Dubai Airshow, taking place 17-21 November at DWC, Dubai Airshow Site, is the ideal location for the industry to take advantage of the associated growth opportunities.
Michele van Akelijen, managing director of show organisers Tarsus F&E Middle East, reveals why the show is the best global platform for the aerospace industry.
What’s new for the 2019 edition of the Dubai Airshow?
The Dubai Airshow has grown every year across its 30-year history to reflect the innovations and opportunities in the aerospace industry, in the Middle East and globally. The 2019 edition will be no exception, from new exhibitors from around the world to the return of feature areas and conferences.
A large number of the 1,300 exhibitors at the Dubai Airshow are new for 2019, representing all aspects of the industry.
Some examples of those exhibiting for the first time include Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), a military industry company; Bejing Photoelectric, an optical and electrics manufacturer; engine manufacturer United Engine Corporation from Russia; and, aviation services provider Airports World Company. The growth in exhibitors is a testament to the expanding aerospace industry in the region and beyond, as our new exhibitors are coming from Asia, Europe and the US as well as the Middle East region.
What trends do you think will be seen at the show this year?
The aerospace industry is at an exciting point as new technologies open opportunities for industrial changes that can be translated into tangible cost savings and growth.
A lot of these technologies – such as unmanned aerial systems and blockchain, are the focus of panels or presentations at the conferences taking place during the Dubai Airshow. In addition to these sessions, one big trend we will see from leading aerospace companies will be to use the Dubai Airshow as a platform to launch and exhibit their latest innovations to the market. While we cannot speak for individual exhibitors and what they will be exhibiting, traditionally the Dubai Airshow has seen some exciting product launches, innovations and partnership announcements and we are confident we will see the same in 2019.
How can exhibitors make the most of this year’s show?
The Dubai Airshow is the most effective way to do business in the Middle East, and the networking value is immeasurable. The region’s business culture is all about face-to-face communication, where personal business relationships are highly valued. The best way that exhibitors can make the most of their time at the Dubai Airshow is to maximise networking opportunities. While those who plan and execute their own meetings and networking opportunities will most definitely see the benefit, we also host the Exhibitor Networking Reception the weekend before the show opens, and exhibitors who are unable to accommodate meetings on their stands are able to hire a table in our chalet for lunch. The Dubai Airshow attracts global industry key players and they are all at the DWC, Dubai Airshow Site for the week providing an unrivalled networking opportunity not to be missed by anyone in aerospace.
What are the challenges faced by the organising team when putting together such a massive trade show?
Any large event presents challenges especially when you consider the scale of the Dubai Airshow Site – 1,300 exhibitors fitting into the exhibition hall and chalet line can be challenging in itself, as well as co-ordinating the aircraft for the static and flying displays. The purpose-built DWC Dubai Airshow is fantastic in providing the best canvas
The aerospace industry is at an exciting point as new technologies open opportunities for industrial changes that can be translated into tangible cost savings and growth.”
to create the event every two years, and a fantastic team and partners in Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports and the UAE Armed Forces. We’re fortunate to be able to work with them to bring the Dubai Airshow into fruition as the platform for the aerospace industry.
Why are the conferences an important element of the Dubai Airshow? What can visitors expect from them?
The Dubai Airshow prides itself on responding to developments in the aerospace industry and the addition of new conferences and features are an integral part of this as the show continues to reflect innovations and opportunities.
Each conference will address specific sector technologies: Cargo Connect will showcase international developments in next generation freight, automation and digital cargo and Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) will bring together the air traffic control ecosystem to network, learn and discuss innovative solutions accelerating the industry. The Space Pavilion and Tech Talks themed around Space 4.0: The New Era produced in collaboration with the UAE Space Agency, will host leaders at the forefront of the tech sector as they unveil advancements in rocket technology, space debris, cubesat quality improvement, satellite communication and cyber security. Delegates at each conference can expect to increase their knowledge, take advantage of the opportunity to network with industry leaders in addition to accessing to the full five days of the Dubai Airshow with each conference delegate pass.
What would be your recommendations of top five things not to miss at this year’s event?
What is fantastic about the Dubai Airshow is that it truly represents all aspects of the industry, and each individual visitor’s ‘unmissable’ will vary according to the sectors they are focused on. However, three can be broadly defined as the networking opportunities, the product launches and industry innovations at the Dubai Airshow. Personally,
I’m excited about the Space Tech Talks and hearing from Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot Col. Al Worden, USAF-Ret, so I would have to include that.
Finally, the flying display at the Dubai Airshow is always a highlight for exhibitors and visitors, when aircraft manufacturers and civil and military operations demonstrate their skills and capabilities to industry leaders, suppliers and potential customers.
experts in the European air space market, what opportunities do you see for the Middle East market?
Actors in the ATM industry are increasingly required to collaborate to collectively address issues facing aviation. We are acutely aware of this need from our own experiences in in Europe. Despite the geographical and nuanced differences with the Middle East, this is still relevant. Service providers in the Middle East make no compromise when it comes to delivering safety and efficiency. However, like other regions in the world, there is still significant space for closer collaboration. Realising this will create opportunities for the joint development of innovative solutions and cross-border operations.
What learnings from European airspace can be applied to the Middle East market?
Service providers in the EU operate within a framework of cooperation, which is built into a high level intergovernmental structure Collaboration is inevitable between all stakeholders. This is not the case in other regions, like the Middle East, which limits improvement opportunities. Enhanced collaboration and harmonised regulation are crucial in this region to achieve a higher level of safety and efficiency.
Michele van Akelijen, managing director of show organisers Tarsus F&E