Dubai Air Show 2023 Takes Off, Expected to Set the Stage for Robust Business

Civil Aviation

New Delhi: With the five day Dubai Air Show 2023 taking off from November 13 having been the brainchild of Vice President, Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, it will enthral aviation enthusiasts and provide a forum to enable the world industry to see the latest advances in aviation, aerospace and defence sectors.

The 2023 edition is expected to set the stage for a flurry of orders, ranging from 300 to more than 400 aircraft orders, surpassing last year’s deals worth $74 billion.

The defence technology partner for the air show is UAE’s EDGE which is one of the world’s leading advanced technology groups, established to develop innovative solutions for defence and beyond, and to be a catalyst for change and transformation. The company is dedicated to bringing breakthrough innovations, products, and services to market with greater speed and efficiency, to position the UAE as a leading global hub for future industries, and to creating clear paths within the sector for the next generation of highly-skilled talent to thrive.

With this air show,  Dubai will be poised to continue shaping the future of global aviation. The strategic partners for the air show are UAE Ministry of Defence, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports and Dubai Aviation Engineering Products.

The biennial air show held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,  in cooperation with Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports, Dubai World Central and the UAE Armed Forces, is organised by Tarsus Aerospace since 1989 and is “open to business professionals and industry only”.

The Air Show started as a small trade show known as Arab Air in 1986 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Since the  first Dubai Air Show was held in 1989 at Dubai Airport, it grew rapidly and boosted by substantial Middle East investment in civil and military aviation, it grew from 200 exhibitors and 25 aircraft in 1989. In 1991 due to the outbreak of the Gulf War, the show was moved from January to November and it had a strong military focus.

The 2003 air show was the fastest-selling in the event’s history as it saw participation by 550 companies from 36 countries.

A decade later in 2013, it got a tremendous boost as it saw participation by  1,046 exhibitors from 60 countries, drawing 60,692 trade attendees for a record $206.1 billion order book of aircraft, parts and MRO deals. The display presented 163 aircraft with Emirates placing the highest price airliner order with $99 billion for 150 newly launched Boeing 777Xs plus 50 options and 50 Airbus A380s.

As the brain behind the air show, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said that the event is “one of the world’s most significant exhibitions in aviation, air transport, defence and space. The event boasts the participation of 148 countries and over 1400 exhibitors.”

He said, “the deals concluded at its previous session exceeded $74 billion. Our expectations are for even greater growth this year. The UAE will remain a gathering place for the most important global investment opportunities in all economic sectors.”

Meanwhile, an Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent has touched down at the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, signalling their participation in this prestigious Air Show. Two of India’s indigenous aircraft, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, are set to steal the spotlight at the Air Show.

The Tejas will engage in both static and aerial displays, showcasing its prowess, while the Sarang Helicopter Display Team promises to mesmerize the audience with their exceptional formation aerobatics skills.

The IAF’s contingent, including the Tejas and Dhruv teams, made their journey to Dubai aboard the formidable C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, setting the stage for what promises to be a series of awe-inspiring performances.

The grand spectacle will see the Indian teams join esteemed aerial display teams from around the world. The Air Show serves as a unique platform to highlight the significant advancements achieved by the Indian Aviation Industry. The participation of indigenous platforms like the Tejas and Dhruv not only underscores India’s technological prowess but also emphasizes its commitment to self-reliance in defence capabilities.

The Sarang Team’s involvement with the UAE began in 2005 at the Al Ain Grand Prix. In 2021, the Suryakirans and Tejas debuted at the Dubai Air Show, impressing spectators with remarkable aerial manoeuvres.

The return of these teams in 2023 is anticipated to once again captivate the audience and strengthen the bonds between India and the UAE.

Beyond the aviation spectacle, the participation of the Indian Air Force holds strategic importance in the diplomatic arena. India’s relationship with the UAE is not only historical but also strategically crucial. India’s involvement in the “new QUAD,” known as I2U2, alongside the US, UAE, and Israel, emphasizes collaborative efforts in enhancing maritime security, connectivity, and digital infrastructure. This partnership was further solidified in 2020 when the IAF utilized the Al Dhafra air base in the UAE as a pivotal stopover location during the transit of Rafale fighter jets from France, exemplifying the robust ties between the two nations.

The air show will have on display over 180 aircraft ranging from business jets, drones and UAV’s, commercial airlines, military jets, helicopters and much more. The new addition to this show will be the futuristic mode of transport, namely, the electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft which is expected to take centre stage at the static park.

The show will see over 1400 world-class exhibitors from 95 countries and on display would be over 180 of the most advanced commercial, private and military aircraft. It will see nine  conference tracks content presented by over 300 industry speakers giving an opportunity for exchange of ideas on the latest advances made in the field of aviation, aerospace and defence.

The air show would also see 20 Country pavilions featuring the most innovative products and technologies. The five day show will see interaction  of ideas among the 390 senior military and civil delegations.

Another feature of the show will be the access to Start-up Hub – VISTA featuring over 80 start-ups.