A Brief History of the Dubai Airshow

Find out more about the Dubai Airshow, considered one of the largest air shows in the world, as we gear up for DAS2023.



November 12, 2023

DALLAS — The Dubai Airshow (DAS) is a biennial air show held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that has been taking place since 1989.

Tarsus Aerospace organizes the event under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in cooperation with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports, Dubai World Central, and the UAE Armed Forces.

The Dubai Airshow is considered one of the largest air shows in the world and is open only to business professionals and industry members.

Photo: Dubai Airshow

Milestones of the Dubai Airshow

  • The Dubai Airshow started as Arab Air in 1986, a small civil aviation trade show organized by F&E at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
  • The first Dubai Airshow was held in 1989 at Dubai Airport (DXB), with 200 exhibitors and 25 aircraft.
  • In 1991, the show was moved from January to November due to the Gulf War, and it had a strong military focus.
  • The 2001 show took place just six weeks after the events of September 11, 2001, and closed with a record order book of US$15.6 billion.
  • The Dubai Airshow 2003 was the fastest-selling in the event's history, with 550 companies from 36 countries participating.
DAS2021 visitor breakdown. Chart: Dubai Airshow
  • In 2005, the Airshow hosted the Middle East debut of the A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft, in full Emirates (EK) livery.
  • In 2013, the Dubai Airshow drew 1,046 exhibitors from 60 countries and had a record order book of US$206.1 billion.
  • The 2017 Dubai Airshow featured aircraft displays from Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier Aerospace, Embraer, and Sukhoi, among others. EK made a significant airliner order with a value of US$99 billion.
  • In 2019, EK announced an order for 50 Airbus A350-900 aircraft, and Air Arabia (G9) placed an order for 120 Airbus A320 family aircraft.
  • The 2021 Dubai Airshow saw orders for 255 A321neo aircraft from Indigo Partners, as well as orders from other airlines and companies.
Photo: Dubai Airshow


Following its successful previous edition, the Dubai Airshow serves as a strong indication of the aerospace industry's resilience in a post-pandemic world.

As one of the premier gatherings for the global aerospace, space, and defense community, DAS2023 promises to be another newsworthy event, bringing together industry leaders and visionaries to showcase their advancements for us to forecast future trends and market opportunities.

Photo: Dubai Airshow

The 2023 Dubai Airshow is held from November 13 to 17, 2023, at Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC), and the Airways team is there, ready to cover all the latest developments at the Dubai Airshow’s biggest edition.

Join us this week as we cover the most significant presentations from over 1400 world-class exhibitors, experience the very best of the 180 aircraft flying and static displays, and get succinct insights from nine industry conferences, including over 300 speakers.


Featured image: Dubai Airshow