ABU DHABI / Emirates Business
The inaugural Abu Dhabi Aviation & Aerospace Week (ADAAW) â€” held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, came to a close on Saturday, after being attended by thousands of participants, guests, and key industry stakeholders to the UAE capital.
â€œThe volume of visitors, quality of discussions, and measurable developments across the six events of Abu Dhabi Aviation & Aerospace Week reinforces the role of Abu Dhabi emirate as the regional bastion of progress and innovation across the industry,â€ said Mubarak Al Shamisi, Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau Director, a division of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), a key organiser for the week.
â€œThe success of a week that saw international delegates attend exhibitions, conferences and seminars that demonstrated the diversity of the aviation sector is indicative of our growth and continued efforts to bring to the world an event that highlights the best in commercial, military and private sector innovation,â€ he added.
The Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) was the venue for three of the weekâ€™s six events: the second Unmanned Systems Exhibition & Conference (UMEX 2016) and the first Simulation Conference & Exhibition, and the third Global Aerospace Summit.
Attracting the Armed Forces, industry stakeholders, academia and various government entities, UMEX 2016 and the Simulation Conference & Exhibition featured comprehensive displays, a conference, and live flying demonstrations that further showcased the latest trends and innovations in the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) sector.
The Global Aerospace Summit was attended by around 1,000 senior executives from 59 countries who discussed the most pressing issues and trends within the aviation, aerospace, space and defence industries. Hosted by Mubadala Development Company and organised by Streamline Marketing Group, the invitation-only strategic forum covered a wide-range of topics including globalisation, workforce challenges, air traffic management, safety and sustainability.
Homaid Abdulla Al Shemmari, Chief Executive Officer of Aerospace & Engineering Services at Mubadala Development Company, said: â€œInnovation in aerospace continues to spark our imagination. Facilitating critical discussions with the drivers of innovation across aviation, aerospace, defence and space is emblematic of Abu Dhabiâ€™s position as the pinnacle of progress.â€
The second half of the weekâ€™s events witnessed the launch of Abu Dhabi Air Expo 2016, which included the Middle East Aviation Career Conference & Exhibition and the Abu Dhabi Heli Expo. The event, held at Al Bateen Executive Airport, hosted thousands of visitors who interacted with over 300 exhibitors and close to 150 aircraft despite inclement weather conditions.
â€œAbu Dhabi Air Expo 2016 was able to create a platform for the private aviation industry stakeholders to meet and network despite the challenges we faced with the weather conditions. In parallel, the inaugural Middle East Aviation Career Conference and Exhibition facilitate a comprehensive programme for all participants, introducing them to career opportunities and developments within this dynamic sector,â€ said Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operations Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports.
Spectators also enjoyed a thrilling weekend as 14 of the worldâ€™s top pilots put their skills on display at the Red Bull Air Race World Championshipâ€™s opening leg on March 11th and 12th, held in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council. Hosted along Abu Dhabiâ€™s Corniche, the spectacle brought together sporting enthusiasts in an atmosphere of adventure and adrenaline in front of Abu Dhabiâ€™s impressive skyline.
â€œThe Red Bull Air Race reinforced the intertwined relationship between aviation and sport,â€ said Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Director of Marketing and Communications at Abu Dhabi Sports Council. â€œOur role as hosts of the first race of the championship emphasised Abu Dhabiâ€™s commitment to blazing a trail in aviation excellence and facilitating world-class sporting spectacles,â€ he concluded.