Want to sell some aeroplanes? Well the Middle East has long been a favorite destination of marketeers looking to shift the odd airliner or fighter jet. Solid returns were to be got from countries looking to buy themselves some security or to launch an airline or two. There may still be an element of recycling petrodollars, or as in the case of the Al-Yamamah deal, Saudi oil directly for British weapons, but the time has long since past when the deals were only about transmuting oil into high-value processed aluminium.
The host of the Dubai Air Show, the United Arab Emirates, is one ambitious government overseeing a revolution in world air transport geography. The show itself is held at Dubai World Central, a mega project set to be the world's largest airport hub as capacity runs out at the existing airport.
Dubai is competing hard with airports in Europe and Asia to dominate long haul routes. Its biggest airline Emirates, operating with a large fleet of Airbus A380 Super Jumbos, also wants the traffic; and why not stay a while to take in some guaranteed sun? And on the basis of this, build world-class maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facilities?