Visitors to this year's air show will have to dip into their pockets before they pass through the entry turnstiles.

For the first time at Dubai, organisers have introduced an admission fee policy to "-enhance the event's trade-only reputation".

Virginia Kern, managing director of Fairs and Exhibitions, which organises the air show, said: "This was not a step taken simply to generate revenue, but to maintain control over admissions and to assist in ensuring that those who do attend are bonafide visitors. In implementing an admission charge, we have responded to suggestions received from both visitors and exhibitors attending Dubai '95.

"Some bonafide visitors were put off the show by having to queue, while exhibitors have stressed they are not impressed with gate numbers but rather gate quality. The Dubai air show, which has never had a public day, has always enjoyed an excellent reputation as one of the world's most businesslike aviation forums. We have to protect this reputation and build on it where possible.

"With so many air shows around these days, only those which deliver the right audience will survive." Dubai '97 exhibitors have received complimentary invitations which they have dispatched to their key customers and potential buyers.

Fairs and Exhibitions has also extended more than 250,000 complimentary invitations to its own data base of business people.

For other visitors, there are daily and weekly pre-registration packages available - Dh100 ($27) for a daily entry tickets and Dh350 ($96) for a five-day pass.

Source: Flight Daily News