Dubai Airshow heralds a strong comeback for industry


Tarsus Group’s flagship event, the Dubai Airshow, recently concluded its 2021 edition having seen the industry turn out in force for the first face-to-face event in almost two years. The event saw exceptional numbers of visitors, delegations, senior industry executives and media – more than 104,000 in total – from across the globe in attendance at the five day event. Total attendance at the show increased by 24% whilst trade visitor numbers were up by 50% on the 2019 pre-pandemic edition. The industry-leading show is renowned for facilitating thousands of face-to-face meetings, commercial deals and new partnerships – the order book at the event totalled US$78bn by closing day.

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 Dubai Airshow is also a major showcase for the aerospace and defence industries, and in spite of organising the event against the backdrop of COVID-19 the event team was determined to invest in the show and deliver an event that helped to both support the industry’s recovery and also create its flightpath to a more innovative, sustainable future. The show featured 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.

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 sanitisation and a revised show floor layout were in place throughout the event. In total 148 countries were represented at the show, with 20 country pavilions and new to show countries including Israel and the Czech Republic.

The 2021 edition of the Airshow garnered extremely positive feedback from exhibitors, visitors and stakeholders alike who praised the smooth-running of the show in challenging circumstances while giving the industry the opportunity to finally reconnect in person again. Ziad Al Hamzi, CEO, Lufthansa Technik said: “The Dubai Airshow is a great opportunity to meet our clients face-to-face, further strengthening our business relationships. 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 Cincinatti International Airport talked about his experience of the event as a speaker on the Tech Xplore & Cargo stages: “Expert-led timely content from cyber to commercialisation of advancing tech provided stimulating perspectives for how our industry is rising past a post-pandemic state. The Dubai Airshow demonstrates on the ground and in the air aviation’s roaring comeback that powers talent and technology forward.”

Douglas Emslie, CEO of Tarsus Group, organisers of the Dubai Airshow 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 whilst also highlighting the critical role of in-person events in supporting business. The figures speak for themselves, attendance at the show was exceptional and the number of global senior executives from across the industries has never been higher than this year. The Dubai Airshow is today recognised 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 Dubai Airshow is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and will take place again in 2023 at Dubai World Central (DWC), Al Maktoum airport.

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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