The Dubai Air Show, one of the world’s largest aircraft-themed expos is set to begin next week, involving a gathering of 1400 commercial and military exhibitors from 95 countries. The biannual event will run from 13th November to 17th November at the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai.
The show runs against the backdrop of an increasingly tense region, leading at least one Israeli defense team to pull away from the show. Israel was supposed to have a dedicated pavilion, with some of the country’s biggest defense contractors listed in the initial program and floor plan. While Israel Aerospace and Elbit Systems said they still plan to attend, Rafael did not respond about their plans.
Meanwhile, Israel’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate, SIBAT, has called off its participation in the show.
The Media and Public Affairs Bureau of the Israeli Ministry of Defense told the media that in light of the war that began on 7th October, SIBAT decided not to inaugurate a national pavilion at global defense exhibitions until further notice.
This is considerably different from that of 2021, when Israel first attended the Dubai Air Show, after normalization of ties with the UAE, the first Gulf nation to do so.
At the time, the IAI’s CEO, Boaz Levy, in a statement said : “a year after the signing of the Abraham Accords, we are thrilled to participate in the show and to broaden cooperation with business partners in the Gulf region.”
In comparison to 2021, nearly 100 more exhibitors are set to showcase their technology at this year’s air show. Several major companies including Boeing, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo, Safran, Lockeed Martin, Thales, RTX, Pratt & Whitney and more.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will be returning for the second time, while Reaction Engines will be one among the companies exhibiting at the show for the first time.
Also, several space agencies have confirmed their presence in Dubai, including the Italian Space, Brazilian Space Agency, UAE Space Agency, and Russia’s Roscosmos. There are eight pavilions in this year’s air show including Germany, France, Canada, UK, Turkey, Netherlands, Switzerland, US and UK. For the first time, the air show will also host a Space Experience Programme together with UAE Space Agency.
This year, Dubai will also provide a rare opportunity to witness both Indian Air Force Tejas and Pakistan Air Force JF-17 in the same air show.
The Dubai Airshow is the largest aerospace and defense event to be held in the Middle East, drawing visitors and exhibitors from across the globe.
During the show, Airbus will display a range of innovative products, services, and technologies at this edition of the Airshow, while also emphasizing on its commitment towards decarbonising aviation.