By By Zaher Bitar, Staff Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: Running from November 13 to 17 at the Dubai Airport Expo, this year’s Dubai Airshow 2011 will be the biggest yet. With up to 1,000 exhibitors from 50 countries participating, this is the largest such event in the Middle East.
“The Dubai Airshow 2011 is witnessing a 10 per cent growth in the number of participants, exhibitors and location space,” Lt. Col. Yaqoob Yousuf Bin Hamad, head of protocol of the Armed Forces committee, said yesterday.
“UAE-based companies represent 35 per cent of the exhibitors,” he added.
To cater to the increased business, the Airport Expo’s reception building is being extended and the outdoor chalet and aircraft display area has been redesigned to accommodate more outdoor exhibits.
Bin Hamad said, “We have expanded the space of the Airshow to 32,5513 square metres as it is expecting to attract more than 55,000 visitors.”
“We have invited a good number of defence and transportation ministers as well as VIPs and armed forces commanders from more than 80 countries.”
Air force and air defence officers will play an important role in the preparation of the event, Bin Hamad added.
The event is being organised under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in co-operation with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports, UAE Armed Forces and F&E Aerospace.
The Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference will take place during the show and Shaikh Mohammad will address armed forces commanders in his keynote speech.
“The Dubai Air Show represents a rare opportunity for our military cadre to see the most sophisticated technology in the aviation field,” Bin Hamad said.
“The event has been distinguished since its commencement and has continued ever since. It has become an international platform for renowned international companies to showcase their most sophisticated products.”
Moreover, this edition will provide an opportunity to students of public and military schools and universities to come and experience the latest technologies and designs in the aviation industry.
Clive Richardson, chief executive of F&E Aerospace Group, organisers of the event, remarked that despite concerns by some companies over the current economic situation, the number of new participants in this edition has grown 20 per cent.
A number of countries such as Australia, France, Jordan and the US have shown interest in expanding their exhibition stands and/or chalet and pavilion areas to optimise their presence.
“The organisation of the Dubai Airshow and its success [underline] the importance and the growth of the exhibition industry in the UAE. It is an industry that serves and competes with other industries such as tourism, advertising, media and other sectors.”