Cameron gets sneak Dubai airshow preview
Dubai, November 16, 2013
UK Prime Minister David Cameron this evening made a whistlestop tour of the Dubai Airshow at its new home, Dubai World Central.
The Prime Minister stopped off in the emirate on his way back from the Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka. He toured the 645,000 sq m site, ahead of its opening tomorrow (November 16).
His visit to the purpose-built Dubai Airshow exhibition facility, part of the world’s biggest aerotropolis, included meeting officials from Airbus and BAE Systems, as well as the UK’s RAF aerobatics squad, the Red Arrows, which Cameron said were ‘a real treat’ to meet via a tweet from the site.
The Red Arrows will be performing during the Dubai Airshow as part of their Middle East tour, alongside BAE’s new Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, flown by Flt Lt Jamie Norris.
The Prime Minister is backing BAE’s campaign to sell its new fighter to the UAE; amid government optimism that the Typhoon – built by BAE, EADS and Finmeccanica, and financed by the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain – will be chosen in a multi-billion dollar deal with the UAE.
The premier then went on to meet 150 CEOs of UK businesses taking part in the Dubai Airshow, sounding a bullish forecast for Britain’s aerospace industry: “It’s a global race….and one that we can win if we play to our strengths,” he said.
The Prime Minister said Britain has the second largest aerospace industry in the world, employing 230,000 people.
He underlined his government’s commitment to the industry: “It’s an industry we take seriously, recognising it needs real money and real partnerships. A real commitment goes beyond pounds, shillings and pence; it requires government time and partnerships. Britain will sell responsibly and we will be pushing our partnerships, as we will here in the UAE.”
He concluded by telling the gathering of CEOs he looked forward to hearing of deals concluded during the Dubai Airshow, telling them to “get out there and win.”
The UK and UAE have long held close business ties. This year’s Dubai Airshow features 121 UK companies, and a UK pavilion.
Running from Sunday until Thursday, this year’s Dubai Airshow is set to be the largest in its 26-year history, with up to 60,000 trade attendees expected over the week.-TradeArabia News Service