black and white image of emirates plane in the sky

Dubai Airshow Highlights

WE Communications Blog: Technology

— Naiema Ashraf 

The aviation industry’s biggest event – the glamorous bi-annual Dubai Airshow – took place this year from 12 – 16 November. I was lucky enough to attend the show to represent WE, witness the tremendous flying displays – oh, and run the PR aspect of the show for our key aerospace client.

In attendance this year were the top names in the industry making announcements about their newest offerings, while demonstrating their ever-developing technologies. There were new elements of the show, too, such as  the organisers highlighting the connection between the airports and aviation buying chain by introducing a cargo zone and airport solutions.

So what were the top trending topics of the Dubai Airshow 2017?

A Boeing surprise

The giant aircraft manufacturer shone on Day One of the show, when key UAE airline, Emirates signed a deal worth $15.1 billion to order 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners from 2022. Key players Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Prime Minister of the UAE and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum were present for the momentous signing, saying this order will take Emirates into the 2030s. By the end of Day One memes were circulating about an envious Airbus.

Flying in luxury with Emirates

Major airline, Emirates, unveiled its new First Class Suite, which allows some lucky extremely wealthy passengers to fly in pure luxury; they can basically move in, with a wardrobe in the suite, option to video call the flight crew and for the first time, a private room with sliding doors. Emirates said it was inspired by the Mercedes Benz S-Class Sedan, which will chauffeur its passengers to their destinations on arrival in the UAE.

Battle of Dubai Airshow

One key question on everyone’s minds was, out of the ‘big two’ – Airbus and Boeing – who won at selling?

Over the course of the show, American giant Boeing managed to secure $47.6 billion worth in deals with Emirates, flydubai, Ethiopian Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines and finally, Kazakhstan Airlines. On the other hand was Airbus. Attendees and keen aviation geeks made assumptions about a signing with Emirates but to everyone’s surprise, they cosied up with Boeing instead. However, Airbus didn’t lose out and by the end of the show they signed on the dotted line and closed deals worth $52.7 billion in total, with the likes of Golden Falcon Aviation, Indigo Partners and Air Senegal.

It’s fair to say, Boeing and Emirates’ deal may have been a surprise at Dubai Airshow, but Airbus sat back and took the glory. 

To infinity and… Mars

Despite the Middle East space agency still being in its infancy, the region is on track to launch a probe to Mars by the year 2020. The Hope probe will touch down in 2021 and commemorate when the seven Arab Emirates unite, with the hope to inspire young people. This cause has secured a reported $5.2 billion from both public and private supporters.

Overall, the Dubai Airshow sparkled with success – known names in aviation flew to Dubai’s World Centre to showcase the newest technology. And to end the event with a bang, a gala was held at the famous Atlantis hotel, with a special appearance from Jennifer Lopez for VIP guests. Lucky for some…

…And lucky for me. As an agency, WE creates opportunities for its employees. I went from an intern to flying on an incredible A380 aircraft to represent WE in no time at all.