Dubai Airshow 2021‭ ‬an opportunity to advance global aviation sector

The 17th edition of the‭ “‬Dubai Aerospace 2021‭” ‬Exhibition will be held from 14-18‭ ‬November at Dubai World Central International‭ ‬Airport‭, ‬under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum‭, ‬Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE‭ ‬and Ruler of Dubai‭, “‬may God protect him‭”. ‬and under the direct follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum‭, ‬President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and President of Dubai Airports‭.‬

The Dubai exhibition is of great importance in view of the participation of the most prominent international companies specialized in the aviation and aerospace sector‭, ‬as it is estimated that the seventeenth edition of the exhibition will witness the participation of about 1,200‭ ‬exhibitors from 148‭ ‬countries at Al Maktoum International Airport‭, ‬and then the exhibition consolidates‭ ‬the position of the UAE and its pivotal role in support of the aviation and space sector locally and regionally‭.‬

In addition to the above‭, ‬the seventeenth edition of the Dubai Airshow is exceptional‭, ‬as it coincides with the UAE’s hosting of‭ ‬Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai‭, ‬and preparations to celebrate the country’s golden jubilee‭ “‬the year of the fiftieth‭”, ‬and that the exhibition‭ ‬will be one of the first international exhibitions specialized in the aviation and space industries being organized in the stage of recovery from‭ “‬Covid-19‭” ‬in the UAE‭.‬

The most prominent benefits that the exhibition achieves for the UAE‭, ‬and the regional and global aviation sector‭, ‬both civil and military‭, ‬are as follows‭:‬

1-‭ ‬Challenging unfavorable conditions‭: ‬Hosting the exhibition reflects the success of the UAE and Dubai‭, ‬especially in light of the challenges posed by the new surges of Corona‭, ‬and that the exhibition in this edition will witness the participation of new countries for the first time‭, ‬which consolidates the international position of Dubai‭, ‬and its ability to attract various countries of the world to participate in one of the most important international events specialized in the aviation and space sector‭.‬

The holding of this exhibition indicates the UAE’s contribution to achieving the full recovery of the aviation industry‭, ‬which has suffered clear losses as a result of the paralysis that afflicted the travel sector around the world‭. ‬The International Air Transport Association‭ (‬IATA‭), ‬which includes about 290‭ ‬airlines‭, ‬announced that airline revenues are expected to decline by more‭ ‬than 60%‭ ‬in 2020‭, ‬compared to 2019‭, ‬to reach‭ $‬328‭ ‬billion‭, ‬in the worst year the sector has ever seen due to the crisis of the Covid-19‭ ‬outbreak‭.‬

Ishaq Saleh Mohammed Al Balushi‭, ‬Military Adviser to the Ministry of Defense and Executive Director of the Military Committee of‭ ‬the Dubai Airshow stressed that the exhibition’s agenda will focus on a wide range of technical solutions that enhance safety and raise efficiency‭, ‬which will play a pivotal role in supporting the recovery of the aviation‭, ‬space and defense sectors in the wake of the crisis‭. ‬The exhibition takes it upon itself to promote the growth of this vital sector‭, ‬following the losses it has suffered as a result of the Corona pandemic‭.‬

2-‭ ‬Global development of the aviation industry‭: ‬The development of the aviation industry depends on the marketing of its latest products by the main companies‭. ‬During the Dubai Expo 2019‭, ‬exchanges amounted to about 46‭ ‬billion euros‭, ‬and the European Airbus‭ ‬share of these deals was about 19.5‭ ‬billion euros‭, ‬followed by the American Boeing with 16‭ ‬billion euros‭, ‬and there is no doubt‭ ‬that such deals represent a locomotive to enhance the sustainability of the sector’s growth‭.‬

Dubai Expo 2021‭ ‬will also witness the new‭ “‬Vista‭” ‬center for startups from eastern and western countries‭, ‬as the program invites‭ ‬startups‭, ‬entrepreneurs and developers to present their ideas within a two-day competition to work with some of the largest companies in the field‭. ‬The two winners of the Vista competition will have an exceptional opportunity to showcase their innovations‭ ‬at the Vista Innovation Center at the Dubai Airshow‭.‬

The exhibition then helps to support startups through meeting many world-class decision makers and investors to launch‭, ‬grow and‭ ‬expand their operations‭. ‬In 2019‭, ‬investment in startups within the aviation industry reached nearly‭ $‬1‭ ‬billion‭. ‬There is no doubt that such efforts contribute to the strengthening and advancement of the aviation sector‭.‬

3‭- ‬Emiratisation of Air Industries‭: ‬The Dubai Airshow 2021‭ ‬is a major platform to support the‭ ‬“Make in the Emirates”‭ ‬campaign‭, ‬launched by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology in the country‭, ‬given that it constitutes a forum for the main international actors in the field of the aviation industry‭, ‬which is considered today as one of the important economic pillars for countries‭.‬

It also reviews the great achievements made by the UAE in the field of research‭, ‬development and production of high-end products‭, ‬and the capabilities it achieves in the fields of aviation‭, ‬aerospace and defense‭, ‬in which the Edge Group occupies a leading‭ ‬position‭, ‬as confirmed by Khaled Al-Buraiki‭, ‬Head of Mission Support in the Edge Group‭, ‬He is a member of the advisory committee‭ ‬for the Dubai Airshow 2021‭.‬

Therefore‭, ‬the forum represents an opportunity to enhance and exchange knowledge‭, ‬experiences and best practices between Emirati‭ ‬companies and their international counterparts‭, ‬and to establish new partnerships‭, ‬which will ultimately support the national strategy for industry and advanced technology‭, ‬known as the‭ ‬“Operation 300bn”‭ ‬project‭, ‬which aims to enhance the UAE’s position as a global center for future industries‭.‬

4-‭ ‬Marketing of advanced air services‭:‬‭ ‬The advanced technology group‭ ‬“EDGE”‭ ‬will participate in the Dubai Airshow 2021‭ ‬as a partner in the field of defense technology‭, ‬and it will showcase its wide range‭ ‬of aviation and defense services and technology that it provides to international bodies specialized in these sectors‭, ‬the most‭ ‬prominent of which are the precision manufacturing of its equipment‭, ‬autonomy‭, ‬directed energy‭, ‬and hybrid systems that integrate cyber technologies with hardware‭, ‬advanced propulsion systems‭, ‬robotics‭, ‬and smart materials‭, ‬as well as the integration of artificial intelligence into all its products and services‭. ‬The group intends to leverage its innovative technologies to revolutionize the aerospace and defense sector‭.‬

On the other hand‭, ‬the exhibition represents an opportunity to conclude many economic projects and agreements that support the advancement of the national economy‭. ‬At the 16th edition of the exhibition‭, ‬i.e‭. ‬the one held in 2019‭, ‬Global Aerospace Logistics‭( ‬GAL‭), ‬the regional provider of integrated military and civil aviation solutions‭, ‬signed an agreement with the China Defense Contracting Corporation for the import and export of aviation technology‭ ‬“CATEC”‭ ‬to establish a customs warehouse for aircraft in Abu Dhabi to provide the UAE and the Middle East and North Africa region with‭ ‬aircraft spare parts‭.‬

5-‭ ‬Anticipating the future of the aviation industry‭: ” ‬Dubai International Air Chiefs‭’ ‬Conference‭ ” ‬will be held on the sidelines‭ ‬of the‭ “‬Dubai Airshow 2021‭”, ‬which will be held on November 13‭, ‬and represents an opportunity for decision-makers and leaders in the Air Force and Air Defense to meet and discuss the latest emerging developments‭, ‬both at the level of strategies‭, ‬or at the‭ ‬technology level‭.‬

The conference will dedicate a large part of it to the systems of the new generation of air defense technologies‭. ‬The discussions will also highlight issues such as the role of new technologies in the development of air travel and the emerging transformations in the air cargo sector‭, ‬as well as global developments related to sustainability‭, ‬autonomous driving systems‭, ‬new space services‭, ‬satellite communication and many more‭.‬

There is no doubt that discussing such issues contributes to developing future plans that contribute to anticipating these new developments‭, ‬and including them in the state’s plans to advance this vital sector‭, ‬both civil and military‭.‬

For example‭, ‬one of the main sessions in the conference deals with‭ ‬“contactless travel”‭, ‬which aims to discuss how to use smart phone technologies to overcome the repercussions of the health crisis‭, ‬and the ways that leading airlines have used to employ smart phone technologies in the areas of safe travel‭, ‬which represents one of attempts to‭ ‬respond and adapt to the repercussions imposed by the Corona crisis‭, ‬as well as laying the necessary foundations to deal with any health crises that the world may witness in the future‭.‬

This meaning was confirmed by Munir Bakhsh‭, ‬CEO of Saudi GDC Middle East‭, ‬as he stressed that‭ “‬the pandemic had a tremendous impact on the aviation industry‭, ‬as it affected manufacturing‭, ‬airlines‭, ‬airports and defense companies‭, ‬and that participation in‭ ‬The exhibition provides an in-depth understanding of industry insights into the aviation sector‭, ‬the global landscape in the wake of the pandemic and the path to recovery‭, ‬as well as opening doors to new partnership opportunities‭.‬

As for the technological developments that are expected to shape the future of the aviation sector‭, ‬it is noted that the conference focused on the new development and research partnership concluded by the Tawazun Economic Council‭ ‬“Tawazun”‭ ‬with the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces‭, ‬which is in line with the UAE’s objectives towards future energy trends and investments in‭ ‬“Green hydrogen”‭ ‬for zero-emission aircraft‭, ‬as hydrogen is expected to represent up to 18%‭ ‬of global energy demand by 2050‭, ‬with more than 30‭ ‬countries issuing their hydrogen production plans‭.‬

6-‭ ‬Showcasing the most prominent military innovations‭: ‬The exhibition represents an opportunity for major producers of fighter jets and military helicopters‭, ‬as well as air defense systems‭, ‬to display their most prominent products and market them to potential buyers‭. ‬In the previous edition of the exhibition‭, ‬Russia displayed a number of weapons and military technologies that appear‭ ‬for the first time in this type of event‭.‬

Among the highlights of Moscow’s exhibition at the 2019‭ ‬exhibition were the fifth-generation stealth fighters‭ “‬Su-57E‭”, ‬and the‭ ‬small‭ “‬Yak-130‭” ‬aircraft for training and close combat‭, ‬which can carry three thousand kilograms of ammunition‭, ‬missiles‭, ‬guided‭ ‬and unguided bombs‭. ‬across 8‭ ‬points distributed over its structure‭. ‬The operational range of these aircraft is up to 2000‭ ‬km‭.‬

Russia also demonstrated an upgraded version of the‭ “‬Pantsir S-1‭” ‬air defense system‭, ‬which is designed to protect military installations and long-range air defense systems from attacks by aircraft‭, ‬drones‭, ‬guided missiles and winged missiles‭. ‬This system‭ ‬can intercept its targets at altitudes between 5‭ ‬meters and 20‭ ‬km‭, ‬relying on guided missiles and heavy machine guns‭. ‬In addition to the above‭, ‬Moscow demonstrated for the first time a model of the‭ “‬Sola‭” ‬radar‭, ‬which is capable of detecting satellites and‭ ‬other space targets in Earth’s orbit‭.‬

At the 2019‭ ‬Dubai Airshow‭, ‬Collins Aerospace showcased the ACES 5‭ ‬ejection seat‭, ‬which was selected by the US Army to replace all previous ACES2‭ ‬seats‭. (‬Aces 2‭). ‬The company also showcased data link systems‭, ‬which allow the pilot to obtain the analyzed information from a range of different sources‭, ‬while at the same time making the appropriate decisions‭.‬

7-‭ ‬Strengthening regional partnerships‭: ‬The exhibition is not only an opportunity for the UAE to learn about the latest civil and‭ ‬military technological innovations in the aviation sector‭, ‬but it also represents an important opportunity for regional and friendly countries to benefit from this exhibition in developing their national industry‭, ‬concluding partnerships and contracting the services of major companies operating in the field of aviation‭. ‬and space‭.‬

The largest Saudi companies in the field of aviation and aerospace are scheduled to display their products and services at the Dubai Airshow 2021‭, ‬the most prominent of which are the General Authority for Military Industries‭ (‬GAMI‭), ‬the General Authority for Civil Aviation‭ (‬GACA‭), ‬the Saudi Aviation and Space Company‭, ‬and the Saudi Military Industries Company‭ (‬SAMI‭), ‬Advanced Electronics Company‭ (‬AEC‭), ‬Saudi Arabian Airlines‭, ‬Saudi Oxford Aviation Academy‭, ‬and GDC Middle East‭.‬

In conclusion‭, ‬the Dubai Airshow represents a great opportunity to revive one of the vital economic sectors‭, ‬which was severely‭ ‬affected by the Corona pandemic‭, ‬by using several mechanisms‭, ‬whether by enabling major companies operating in this field to offer their most prominent products and marketing them‭, ‬or motivating them to establish partnerships between various local‭, ‬regional and international companies‭, ‬or by discussing the most prominent technical applications that contribute to supporting the recovery of the air aviation sector from the Corona pandemic‭. ‬


Ahmed bin Saeed: Dubai Airshow 2021 is an international platform that brings together the aviation, space and defense sectors

 HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airlines and Group, has emphasized the importance of the Dubai Airshow 2021, describing the event as “an opportunity to reconnect the aviation, aerospace, space and defense industries.”

 During a press conference in Dubai, HH Sheikh Ahmed said, “Based on the number of new participating countries and new exhibitors added this year, Dubai Airshow 2021 is set to be bigger and better than the 2019 event. The event will showcase the critical role that aviation, aerospace, space and defense continue to play globally, with 1,200 exhibitors from 148 countries, while official civil and military delegations represent 140 countries, as well as 160 aircraft participating in the exhibition’s fixed display area.

‮»‬‭  ‬By‭: ‬Dr‭. ‬Shady Abdel Wahab

Al Jundi

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