Jebel Ali, Dubai – November 19, 2013. One of the side effects of working across borders is that I variously find myself somewhere on relatively short notice. So it was when I recently found myself in The Hague surrounded by the World’s largest round painting and transported back for a moment to a place that once was. Then the Dubai Air Show popped up in a manner of speaking as a client asked me to attend some meetings there.
As a newcomer to airshows, I was impressed. With the acquisition of the requisite aviator sun glasses I soon looked the part. In between meetings I tried to spend a little time watching planes perform flying feats. Perhaps the most impressive was the F-18 Super Hornet. It performed maneuvers at speed that seemed to suspend the laws of physics. Sadly, I was told that it’s just a one-seater so there was no point in asking for a ride regardless of my aviator shades. According to the papers, the Dubai Air Show itself set records. Aircraft related businesses from around the world were represented. I also spent some time looking at the wares of the industry in general including touring planes. The UAE placed orders for passenger jets for unimaginable sums, placing the largest passenger jet order in history on the first day of the show.
The friendly reception by citizens and people who work in the UAE is noteworthy as is the meticulous attention to detail and blending of the traditional and the modern in the places I visited. I also enjoyed very much visiting Abu Dhabi Art 2013 which featured galleries and modern art from around the world.