His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, officially opened the 22th edition of Dubai Airshow on Sunday morning. Present at the inauguration ceremony was Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, along with dozens of other dignitaries and guests.
Running until Thursday at the Dubai Airport Expo, the 2011 show is the biggest yet, with nearly 55,000 trade visitors attending during the week and up to 30,000 visitors expected on the first day alone.
The Dubai Airshow will see the two rival aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing compete for supremacy and expand their market share that is expected to cross $450 billion (Dh1.65 trillion) involving the sale of more than 2,500 aircraft in the next 20 years.
In a message published by the ‘Nation Shield’ (Dira’ Al Watan), Sheikh Mohammed said: “I am pleased to see the 22th edition of the Dubai Airshow takes off, flying from success to success and continuing its quantitative and qualitative growth ensuring the volume and quality of exhibits, activities as well as numbers of exhibitors and visitors”.
“I am proud of the position our show ensures today among the largest international exhibitions in the field,” he continued.
“In the UAE, we have always stressed that success has no finishing line,” Shaikh Mohammed emphasised, adding that the success achieved today will be scattered in the wind tomorrow if not sustained through maintenance, renewal and development.
The Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference (DIAC), part of the Airshow, opened on Saturday at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel Conference Hall.
Emirates airline is expected to announce new orders to top up its existing order backlog of 170 aircraft, while Boeing officials said they expect their customers to announce orders at the biannual event.