x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Early lift-off for Dubai Airshow site

The new venue for the Dubai Airshow will be handed over to the show's organisers within the next three months.

The Dubai Airshow, which starts on November 17, will take place at Dubai World Central. AP Photo
The Dubai Airshow, which starts on November 17, will take place at Dubai World Central. AP Photo

The new venue for the Dubai Airshow will be handed over to the show's organisers within the next three months.

Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) will officially hand over the keys for the show site at Dubai World Central (DWC) to F&E Aerospace in just 90 days, in plenty of time for the biennial show's opening on November 17.

The international aerospace show, which will run for five days, is expected to draw more than 60,000 visitors this year, and in excess of 1,000 exhibitors.

"This makes the move to the new venue particularly well timed as the total footprint of the exhibition space is 645,000 square metres, more than double the size of the old show site at the Airport Expo," said a spokesman for F&E Aerospace. "The new venue also includes a larger static park with fewer flying restrictions, improved media and catering facilities along with three times more parking spaces than at the previous site."

To create the new venue DAEP dismantled the original permanent structures formerly located at Airport Expo at Dubai International Airport, then moved and rebuilt them at DWC.

The decision to relocate the existing structures from Dubai International to DWC was based on sound fundamentals, said Toni Sleiman, the head of construction at DAEP. "It was done because it was faster and cheaper," he said. "The location also drove it, since buildings had to go to properly enable the expansion of the airport in line with the planning for 2020."

Dubai International, as the second-busiest international airport in the world after London's Heathrow, according to data last month, needs the old airshow site for more aircraft parking bays, while flight schedules meant that time slots could no longer be guaranteed for flying displays.

The new site is part of a Dh120 billion investment in the DWC, the world's first aerotropolis, which is spread across 140 square kilometres in Jebel Ali.

DWC began operations in June 2010, with cargo services. Earlier this year, it introduced business aviation operations, with the next step being commercial flights, due to commence with the European low-cost carrier Wizz Air and Saudi Arabia's Nas Air in October.

The Dubai Airshow is organised under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and in cooperation with Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports and the UAE Armed Forces.

 

dblack@thenational.ae