Could Dubai replace Paris and Farnborough?

European shows could become mere networking events

The Dubai Airshow taking place this week could break its $155 billion record, reached in 2007, for aircraft orders announced. That could make this year’s show pivotal, introducing a tipping point confirming Dubai as the preferred meeting place for the world’s aerospace industry.

For decades, the air shows in Paris and Farnborough have been the places where commercial airlines wanted to be seen – and had to be seen. But Dubai’s emergence could make the two European shows little more than networking events.

“There will always be a need for Farnborough and Paris, but I think the emphasis for these shows will be more and more as trade shows as opposed to air shows,” Howard Wheeldon of Wheeldon Strategic Advisory told Reuters news agency.

“True, Farnborough is investing more money for the 2014 show, but compared to the likes of Dubai this is tiny. New shows are emerging in Bahrain, and soon, probably, India and even China and Brazil.”

About 30% of Dubai’s GDP and 20% of its employment comes from aviation. Next year its airport is expected to become the world’s busiest. Of the 1,043 exhibitors at the Dubai Airshow, around 265 are UAE-based – most of which did not exist two years ago.


[pictured: JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai; [image courtesy Marriott International]


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