The 2013 Dubai Airshow will take place November 17-21 at the Dubai World Central – a new site purpose-built for this year’s show. This event is forecast to attract 1,000 exhibitors and 60,000 attendees. If you’re planning on operating to Dubai for or during this event, it’s best to begin working with your 3rd-party provider without delay in order to secure best aircraft parking and hotel accommodation options. Below is a breakdown of what you need to know:
1. Al Maktoum airport will host the event
Recently opened Al Maktoum (OMDW) will host the 2013 Dubai Airshow. All arriving aircraft – including private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) – require airport slots, as well as landing permits. Airport slots should be requested along with ground handling. There are no aircraft parking restrictions in place for OMDW at this time, and it’s unlikely that parking will be restricted during the airshow, as this is a very large airport. An airport of entry, OMDW provides 24 hours’ customs, immigration and quarantine clearance. Operators should expect runway closures, on occasion, during the airshow as announced by Notice to Airmen (NOTAM).
2. Latest NOTAM on OMDW closures
OMDW A0592/13 DUBAI AIRSHOW PRACTICE AND VALIDATION WILL TAKE PLACE TAKE OFFS AND LANDINGS LTD TO AIRCRAFT TAKING PART IN AIRSHOW. DLY BTN 0600-0800 AND 1100-1300, 13 NOV 06:00 2013 IL 15 NOV 13:00 2013. CREATED: 21 AUG 10:38 2013 OMDW A0593/13 DUBAI AIRSHOW WILL TAKE PLACE NOV 17-21 FULL REHERSAL ON NOV 16 TAKE OFFS AND LANDINGS LTD TO AIRCRAFT TAKING PART IN AIRSHOW DURING THE ABOVE TIMES. DLY BTN 1000-1300, 16 NOV 10:00 2013 UNTIL 21 NOV 13:00 2013. CREATED: 21 AUG 10:39 2013.
For up-to-date information on NOTAMs, please click here.
3. United Arab Emirate permit requirements
United Arab Emirate (UAE) landing permits require submission of all aircraft documentation in advance. Official lead time for landing permit requests is 36-24 hours, and permit validity is 72 hours. For more information on landing permits for UAE, please contact your 3rd-party provider.
4. Alternate airports
Dubai Int.’l (OMDB), Sharjah (OMSJ) and Bateen (OMAD) are all alternate airports for this event. OMDB is, however, the closest alternate to the show venue. OMDB requires airport slots and slot requests to be submitted concurrent with ground handling requests. Note that no airport slots will be available for General Aviation (GA) at OMDB between 1700 UTC and 2100 UTC. While OMSJ and OMAD do not require airport slots, Prior Permission Required (PPR) is needed.
OMDB is about a 30-minute drive from OMDW airport, OMSJ is about one hour away, and OMAD is approximately an hour and a half, depending on traffic. With regard to drive times from the airports into downtown Dubai, plan on 40 minutes from OMDW, 20-30 minutes from OMDB, one hour from OMSJ and an hour and a half from OMAD. Full aircraft support services, along with 24-hour fueling and credit, are available at all of these airports, provided arrangements are made in advance. Note, however, that maximum aircraft size at OMAD is a B737 or A321 due to surface bearing strengths and fire category.
5. Crew may not require visas at OMDB
Crew members of certain nationalities can be cleared and allowed to stay up to seven days in Dubai if they have valid passports and crew IDs with stated expiry dates and are listed on the GENDEC. It’s recommended to speak to your 3rd-party provider to confirm visa requirements for crew and which nationalities don’t require a visa.
6. Passengers visa requirements
All passengers – except for those who are nationals of the below-listed countries – arriving at OMDB and OMDW must have visas prior to arrival. Nationals of the countries listed below will be issued on arrival visas valid for stays of up to 30 days:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, U.S.A and the Vatican.
7. Hotel and local transport considerations
OMDW offers a wide selection of 4-, 5- and 6-star hotels – although not in the immediate area. Closest hotel – the Jebel Ali Resort – is about a 20-minute drive from the airport. Operators should anticipate higher room prices during this period as, in addition the Dubai Airshow, this is high travel season for the region. It’s recommended that crew use prepaid (car with driver) transport for Dubai, and such services are available 24 hours a day. Local taxis and public transport are also available, but it’s best to vet public taxis (either via your hotel or ground handler) before boarding them.
8. Consider OMDW jet fuel and credit arrangements
Note that the jet fuel supplier at OMDW requires a release for fuel uplifts, so be sure to have that arranged in advance. The jet fuel supplier does not accept cash, credit cards or even aviation fuel cards at this location.
Dubai’s new OMDW airport is a very large and impressive facility which should have no issues in accommodating all GA aircraft operations/arrivals concurrent with the airshow and static displays. When operating to the UAE, it’s important to plan on sufficient landing permit, airport slot and PPR lead times – as well as lead times for any required visas – and to make your aircraft parking arrangements as soon as schedule is known.
If you have any questions about this article or if you would like assistance with planning your next trip to the UAE, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Cody Coe
Cody Coe joined Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. in 2004, and has since established himself as an expert on international operations for both business jets and helicopters, specializing in ops to Venezuela and Fiji, among other locations. Cody currently serves as a trip owner on the Bravo Team. He is also an expert in hotel accommodations, having previously served on the Universal Hotels Team. You can reach Cody at email@example.com.
Before adding your comments, please read our Comment Policy.