world of aviation logo

Dubai Airshow to go ahead under tight restrictions

written by Isabella Richards | June 22, 2021

2019 Dubai Airshow (Dubai Airshow)

The Dubai Airshow 2021 will be the first major international aerospace trade show to return following the COVID-19 pandemic, albeit under capacity restrictions.

Despite the high-profile cancellation of the 2021 Paris Air Show, slotted to take place this month, the Dubai Airshow is officially set to run from 14-18 November 2021, showcasing emerging aviation technologies, start-ups, future transport and sustainability.

In an interview with Reuters, Timothy Hawes, managing director of organiser Tarsus F&E, said the anticipated attendance numbers are almost at 2019 levels.

“We are confident as we stand at the moment that the interest is there,” Hawes said. “We are very much ready to showcase and bring people together again. It’s been a long time of people [not] meeting face-to-face.”

In 2019, the show held over 84,000 attendees with 1,200 exhibitors showcasing their businesses.

The event is set to reach new levels of strategic importance in the aerospace sector, with support from the UAE government. This year, the show will focus on 5G, AI, robotics, future transport and cargo.

While deals will be limited due to the pandemic reducing cash flow for businesses, the show will boost hope for the future in innovative aerospace technologies.


“We expect that as it stands there is an opportunity to run a show without it looking too different to previous years,” Hawes said.

It comes as restrictions in Dubai continue to ease, with tourists who have received two doses of the vaccination now welcome to travel to the country.

As part of a one-month trial to determine Dubai’s control of the virus, existing restrictions of capacity numbers have softened. Up to 30 people can now attend weddings, while venues can allow 70 per cent capacity in attendance, and up to 10 people can have in-house gatherings.

The airshow will maintain tight restrictions and safety measures to reduce any chance of spread, especially being the first large event held in Dubai.

Exhibition stands will be spread further apart to maintain social distancing, limits to how many attendees can be at a stand at one time, and wearing of face masks will be mandatory.

While the Dubai airshow will return, others still remain benched for next year, subject to change.

The Paris Air Show, initially scheduled for June 2021, was cancelled in light of COVID-19 concerns in December last year.

Established in 1909, the Paris Air Show is the largest air show and aerospace industry exhibition in the world.

It runs every two years, and was scheduled to commence at Le Bourget on 21 June 2021. This is the first time the show has been cancelled since World War Two.

However, the organisers of the Paris Air Show believed despite optimism due to the vaccine roll outs, the pandemic is still far from over.


Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year