Visions of Arabia

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 dubai skyline david hobcote/rex features
 © David Hobcote/Rex Features
The slump in Dubai's once-booming construction sector has hit the wider economy in the emirate

Can the Middle East help pull the aerospace industry from its malaise? This year's Dubai air show takes place against a very different backdrop from the runaway economic growth of two years ago. But despite Dubai's financial problems, buoyant oil and gas revenues have fuelled the ambitions of Abu Dhabi and Qatar to create global carriers and the region to bolster its defence capabilities. In this special, we assess the fortunes of the region's airlines and business aviation community, as well as whether big state-led projects will create an aerospace infrastructure in the Gulf. We visit Jordan - short of natural resources but with an aviation industry built on its reputation as a regional commercial crossroads. We also see how government warchests make the Middle East a key target for defence aviation manufacturers.