I’ve been visiting Dubai Air shows for many years. Initially as a photographer / reporter and in more recent times as a member of the Airshow Organising Team and Aviation Consultant.
The show was originally held at the Dubai International Airport (DXB) but eventually had to move (due increased air traffic at DXB) to Dubai World Central (DWC). Whilst DWC still has civilian traffic it’s nowhere near as busy as it’s big brother. It is however an active airfield with interesting freight, executive jet and passenger movements, all of which add variety to what you may see during “show time”.
Whilst called an Airshow it is strictly a Trade Show (Similar to Farnborough), usually, held in November. The weather is almost guaranteed blue skies (although it was curtailed early a few years ago due heavy rain!). The content is based around what’s new in the aviation market place (Civil, Military and Corporate) rather than historic. There is an impressive Static Aircraft exhibition (100+ aircraft) and Air Displays / Demo Flights take place each afternoon of the Airshow week.
The Airshow naturally has a high UAE Air Force and US presence. At least one major International display Team will also participate.
The Ruler of Dubai usually opens the show on the first day which guarantees a high presence of other members of the Royal Family and several VVIP’s from nearby Gulf States.
Well worth a visit, two days are required if you want to visit the massive Trade Exhibition halls and Aircraft Static Park as well as watching the Air Display.
Recent years have also seen the “Sky View” erected which is a very large (and high) public viewing gallery. You do not have to be a member of the Trade to visit Sky View.
The Dubai Airshow is one of the few opportunities visitors to the UAE get to take photos of aircraft at close quarters without getting into serious trouble. Make the most of the opportunity!
Unauthorised aircraft photography outside of the Airshow is not looked upon kindly by the authorities and comes with a BIG warning. The hobby is not generally understood by the Police or UAE authorities. Many enthusiasts have been detained for lengthy periods (weeks and even months) in UAE prisons for taking pictures and “logging” aircraft registrations.
My recommendation is to go to the Airshow early in the week if you can as some aircraft depart the static park early… and don’t forget to take a sun hat / sun cream…those rays can be mighty hot in November and apart from taking refuge under the wings of aircraft in the static park there is little shelter if you want to view the flying displays.
FAQ’s can be found here :-
Further info:- https://www.dubaiairshow.aero/