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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

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