Dubai Airshow 2021

November’s Dubai air show represents a reboot for aerospace. Anticipation is high ahead of what will be the industry’s first multi-sector gathering since Covid-19 all but shut the skies for passenger flights in March 2020.

And fresh starts will be very much the key theme of the event. The US-brokered Abraham Accords of August 2020 – the recognition of Israel by the UAE and other Gulf states – has led to moves unthinkable just two years ago. They include the USA clearing Abu Dhabi to purchase Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters, after a past flirtation with two European-built types, the Eurofighter and Dassault Rafale. The detente has also spawned industrial partnerships and air links between the major cities of Israel and the Gulf for the first time.

Emirates Dubai air show static 19

EDGE, the UAE’s new consolidated defence house, is taking the next steps on its ambitious growth path, two years after being unveiled. We take a look at the region’s business aviation sector – enjoying a strong rebound in Dubai particularly, as an open economy, hot property market, and the Expo attract international visitors and investors.

And what next for the Gulf’s global connectors, whose wings were clipped severely by the pandemic? They also face deeper challenges after a decade of supercharged growth. We examine the prospects for Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways, as well as the region’s smaller carriers, as they begin the process of rebuilding.

During the show, which begins on 14 November, we will be bringing you news and analysis as it happens.

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