His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Government of Dubai and Chairman of the Emirates Group, has reviewed progress on the expansion of the Airport Expo Dubai – the purpose-built home of the Dubai air show.
Being given a tour of the site by Khalifa Al Zaffin, the DCA’s Director Engineering and Projects, HH Sheikh Ahmed heard how the Airport Expo’s third exhibition hall – Central Hall is on course for completion in July.
“Additional investment in the Airport Expo facility is a demonstration of our commitment to the Dubai air show as an event of international stature with world-class facilities,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed. “It is also in line with the vision of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to maintain the standing of the show as among one of the best in the world.”
HH General Sheikh Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, authorised the expansion plans during the last Dubai air show – Dubai 2003.
“We have to be ready for the future,” he said.
Foundation work on the Central Hall is now fully complete. “We are now at least half way through steelwork erection and fully on target to complete this facility this summer,” explained Al Zaffin.
The design of Central Hall allows for integral expansion of the current East and West Halls, enhancing visitor free-flow through all three halls while the additional space has also allowed air show organisers, Fairs & Exhibitions (F&E), to create new meeting and seminar rooms within the halls.
During his tour of Airport Expo, HH Sheikh Ahmed heard how the entire new Central Hall – which will bring an additional 10,000 square metres to Dubai 2005, the ninth international aerospace exhibition – has already been reserved by exhibitors.
“The show is going well and the expansion has absorbed increasing international demand for space,” said Clive Richardson, Chief Executive, Aerospace Group, F&E.
“Among the growing exhibitor portfolio, which to date comes from 35 countries, are at least 50 new-to-market companies looking for regional breakthroughs. The show will also have, for the first time, representation from Korea and Australia.”
Korea representation will be through Korean Aerospace Industries, which also plans to use the show for the international air show debut of its ‘Golden Eagle’ fighter/trainer while Bose Australia brings the southern hemisphere’s largest country into the Dubai 2005 line-up.
The Airport Expo Dubai has been hailed as a ‘world beater’ by the international aerospace industry since its inauguration in 1999. However growth in the Dubai air show led to the expansion. Dubai 2005, which will run at Airport Expo Dubai from November 20-24, will also feature more chalets than ever before – an additional nine have been added to the site, again to cater to increased demand.
Dubai 2005 is being organised by F&E in conjunction with the Department of Civil Aviation, Government of Dubai and in co-operation with the UAE Armed Forces.