Euronews: “Two weeks after the Dubai Airshow it will be the 40th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). How is the Dubai Airshow affected by this?”
Alison Weller, Managing Director of the Dubai Airshow: “This year’s Dubai Airshow will be an official event of the UAE’s National Day celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the formation of the federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“Running from 13 to 17 November, the airshow will showcase the country’s achievements in the aerospace industry over the past 40 years and help to convey to the world the UAE’s 40th anniversary whilst the world’s press are covering the show.
“In addition to focusing on the past years, the show will also feature ‘Futures Day’, to introduce the nation’s youth to the industry and find future aviators. The show will also be showcasing the UAE’s top aerospace companies, such as Mubadala Aerospace and we will be flying the UAE flag and painting our entire site in red, black, green and white.”
euronews: “The economic crisis has affected all industries, yet this year we are waiting for the biggest Dubai Airshow ever. Both Airbus and Boeing say they are selling more than before, how do you explain this contrast?”
Alison Weller: “The show is getting bigger because we are in a growing industry in the Middle East. The Dubai Airshow is one of the fastest growing airshows in the world and, at each show, we attract more new companies to exhibit and participate.
“This year we will have almost 200 new companies and as we establish ourselves on the airshow calendar we become more and more global, we now have 50 countries exhibiting at the show and over 20 percent of our 55,000 visitors are from overseas.”
euronews: “What are your expectations for this year’s show?”
Alison Weller: “The Dubai Airshow continues to grow, despite the global economic climate. This year we are expecting up to 1,000 exhibitors, an increase of 12 percent over the 2009 event (890 exhibitors from 47 countries). In fact, the world’s media were amazed that the previous show displayed such growth in a downturn, and we’re doing it again!”
euronews: “What specific features of aircraft coming to the show are you most looking forward to?”
Alison Weller: “The Boeing Dreamliner 787 is making its Middle East debut, which is very exciting. Also coming are the Bell/Boeing V-22 Tilt Rotor, a unique aircraft that can perform both vertical take-off and landing and short take-off and landing; and the MA600, manufactured by China’s Xi’an Aircraft Industry Company. The 60-seater will be seen for the first time outside of China.
“For the first time ever, and reflecting the 40th anniversary of the UAE, the flying display will open with the country’s own aerobatic team – Al Fursan – which will fly Alenia Aermacchi aircraft. The display will also feature the Patrouille de France aerobatic team, flying the Alpha jets.
“This year’s event will, once again, be the platform for state-of-the-art technical demonstrations, plus aircraft on the static park display. The static park will display an F18, F15, C17, C-130J and an Apache MH-60 from the US government and an array of business jets from companies such as Gulfstream, Bombardier and Cessna.
“Helicopters are also making a big appearance at this year’s show, with companies such as Russian Helicopters, Sikorsky, Bell and MD Helicopters, plus Quest, who will be launching the first-ever helicopter programme to be built in the UAE.”