Boeing will be wooing potential customers with its latest version of the Dreamliner, the 787-10 and its smaller 737 MAX, resplendent in the colors of local airline Fly Dubai. Airbus, on the other hand, will be showcasing its competing offers, the state of the art A350 and the A320 NEO family. It will also be highlighting the improvements in payload and economics of its ultra-large A380 "plus" and will be working to secure an order for a number of the upgraded model from Emirates.
The regional manufacturers, including Bombardier and Embraer, will be taking the opportunity to present their wares in the regional jet market, a segment where competition is heating up significantly.
The Gulf region is a key market for airliner sales with major customers led by the "big three" Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad, two large low-cost carriers (LCC), Air Arabia and Fly Dubai and a host of other important national carriers, LCCs and regional players.
So why the potential for the show to be somewhat subdued? Well, on the positive side there are already a large number of orders on the books from airlines in the region. Boeing launched its 777X at the show in 2013, securing substantial orders from the big three. Similarly, Airbus has secured more orders for the ultra-large A380 from the Gulf than for any other region, thanks principally to Emirates.