Dubai Airshow 2017: Crowd Cheers as Lopez Performs, Airbus Bags $49.5bn Deal

Dubai Airshow Crowd cheers as Lopez performs, Airbus bags $49.5bn deal_WORLDWIDE

The region’s top aerospace show has been in the news, right from Day 1. And with each passing day, the exhibition has got everyone talking.

Here’s what has happened until the present at Dubai Airshow 2017:

Air Arabia announces leasing agreement with Air Lease Corp.

Furthering its attempt to serve longer range routes, Air Arabia, UAE’s only listed airline, announced a leasing agreement with Air Lease Corp. According to the agreement announced on Monday, the 13th, the carrier will be adding six Airbus A321neo LR aircrafts to its fleet, which only comprised of all Airbus jets until now. Speculations are rife that Air Arabia could use these 215-seat long-range jets to launch new routes in Asia. Sources say that these routes could include cities in China, Thailand and Malaysia.

Airbus bags $49.5 billion deal

Airbus, snubbed by Emirates earlier this week, has struck a $49.5bn worth deal with US investment firm Indigo Partners, which also owns the Frontier Airlines. Emirates had chosen Boeing over Airbus, but the latter has now landed a deal for 430 aircrafts, and that more than doubles Airbus’ existing order book for the year. The company had orders of about 290 aircrafts as of October 31, 2017. The deal in question includes 273 A320neo jets and 157 of the larger A321neo variant, and is being seen as a crowning achievement for sales chief John Leahy, who will be retiring soon.

Airbus scores more than one A330-900neo

Airbus has yet another reason to celebrate; the company has grabbed an order of two A330-900neos from Air Senegal, the new flag-carrier of the west African nation of Senegal. The airline, headed by Philippe Bohn, who happens be the former head of business development at Airbus, is likely to use the aircrafts for launching long-haul services to Paris in the near future.

Boeing closes $27bn deal

Boeing, it seems, is also on a roll – the company has a reached a $27bn deal with FlyDubai, a low-cost airline owned by the Government of Dubai. The carrier that currently operates an all-Boeing fleet inked the deal for 225 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircrafts.

Boeing to sell four cargo freighters to Ethiopian Airlines

Just like Airbus, Boeing also has an African order in its kitty; the company has announced that it is to sell four cargo freighters to Ethiopian Airlines. The deal is believed to be worth $1.3bn, and the best part is that the airline is still discussing an option for the 777X passenger plane.

Jennifer Lopez steals the show

On the entertainment front, Jennifer Lopez, the famed American singer, actress and dancer, put on an iconic performance for 3500 VIPs at the Dubai Airshow gala dinner 2017. The gala dinner, hosted by Dubai Airports, Emirates, and Dubai DutyFree, has witnessed performances by the likes of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Katy Perry in the previous years.

The Dubai Airshow 2017 has been a roller coaster; while Qatar Airways decided not to participate in the aerospace show, owing to the regional tensions in the Middle East, Etihad seems to have been trying to fill the void. The exhibition, which started with grand displays by Sukhoi Su-30SM from the Russian Knights aerobatic team and The US Air Force F-22 fighter jets, will conclude today.

At the Dubai Airshow? Wanderlusting Dubai is a must

Dubai Airshow

The Dubai Airshow 2017 has been the talk of the town for more than one reasons—right from the $15.1 billion Emirates deal bagged by Boeing to the grand displays by the Russian Knights and the US Airforce Jets, everything about the show must have left you spellbound, right?

However, Dubai, being one of the 10 best places to visit on Earth, has so much more to offer. So make the most of your time, now that you are already here.

For the touristy you

Start with a visit to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the World. While you are at it, don’t forget to visit the observation deck on the 124th floor. Catch a bird’s-eye view of the city skyline, and then attend a multimedia presentation to know more about the historic and cultural aspects of the area.

You may also want to consider visiting the Burj Khalifa at night because that’s the time when the building turns into a photographers’ paradise–highlight being the city’s famous city-light panoramas.

While you visit this majestic skyscraper, look through the entertainment offerings at the Dubai Mall, that provides entry to the building. Indulge in ice skating, catch a movie at the cinema complex, or better still, have an al fresco dining experience at any of the themed cafes and restaurants.

For the foodie

With more than 200 outlets to choose from, the mall is your oyster. And yes, if you are a food enthusiast, you just cannot miss out on the Al-Mahara restaurant. This underwater restaurant at the Burj Al-Arab, the world’s tallest hotel (didn’t we tell you there’s more to Dubai than meets the eye?), where  the floor-to-ceiling glass panels in the dining room walls will give you a refreshing view of the sea life as you pamper your taste buds with exotic delicacies.

For the shopaholic

Right from foodies to travelistas, the city of Dubai has something for everyone. The shopaholics have to compulsorily visit the Deira. It is an area that lies on the northern bank of the Dubai Creek. Once you are here, the options galore – so shop till you drop. A visit to the Gold Souk is highly recommended–it being the world’s largest gold bazaar. Looking forward to taking some spices back home? Head over to the Deira Spice Souk–that spoils you with an unimaginable range of spices–right from cumin to thyme.

For the culture vulture

A visit to the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood is a great way to get familiarised with Dubai’s old way of life. The traditional buildings are the true reflection of the ancient architecture. A stroll through the narrow alleys, pathways and public squares has a charm of its own and is a great way to experience the raw vibe of the city.

You may also want to visit the Alserkal Avenue, which is home to more than 60 art, design, and creative spaces.

Another attraction is the Etihad Museum that narrates the story of the founding of UAE.

Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding offers traditional Emirati meals and also guided walking tours if you are too lazy to explore on your own.

You may also want to check out the camel market, Hatta Heritage Village, Al Qudra Lake and Camel Racing at the AL Marmoom Racetrack to satiate the explorer in you. Make the best out of your time.

For the music enthusiast

There’s a lot you can do here while you are in town for the Airshow, and if you are planning to extend your visit by a day or two, do attend the Micro MUTEK.AE, an event aimed at elevating the art of live contemporary electronic music, one that the organisers claim that the Middle East is yet to experience. Not only will you be witnessing some cutting-edge visual works here, but there will be some host discussions and workshops as well. And if digital creativity and electronic music in the region pique your interest, you have to be here.

A Sneak Peek into the Dubai Airshow

The Dubai Airshow 2017, which opened recently to much fanfare, is witnessing a lot of firsts, including a special zone dedicated to Space, the UAS Summit, Cargo Zone and Airport Solutions. It is also the first time that Atlas Aerospace, an Emirati company, is exhibiting at the Airshow. Their next-gen digital training device is on display, and with its touchscreens and flight controls, it has become one of the centres of attractions at the show. Talking of firsts, it is the only time when Qatar Airways has not participated in the show, amid a diplomatic fallout between Qatar and Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

What’s also attracting the visitors to the Airshow is that it’s becoming the launch platform for many new technologies. CEFA Aviation, for instance, launched their Aviation Mobile Services (AMS), which Dominique Mineo, the CEO of the pilot training and staffing company, dubbed as “a revolution in pilot training.

However, not everything is happening for the first time. The Airbus has lost out on selling the A350 to Emirates for the second time, making way for the rival Boeing, which to everyone’s surprise, cracked a $15.1bn deal with the airline major. In the words of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the CEO and Chairman of Emirates, “We were comparing the two apples, but found that the Boeing 787 is the best option for Emirates, given its maintenance and so on.”

Some other highlights of the Dubai Airshow 2017 include:

  • Two Emirates wide body aircrafts, the Boeing 777-300ER and A380, performed a flying display together at the opening ceremony.
  • HH Sheikh Mohammed officially inaugurated the Emirates Flight Training Academy.
  • The event has also witnessed the unveiling of state-of-the-art first class private suites from Emirates. These suites will have virtual windows and a video call feature, which will establish the connection the passengers and the cabin crew.
  • This year’s show has been great for business; Honeywell and Mubadala have already signed an MoU, making room for the introduction of world-class products and services to the Middle East.


The region’s top aerospace show will conclude on the 16th of November, and  is likely to get 9% more visitors than in 2015 and a larger number of exhibitors as well. So head there now and witness the action first hand!