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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Dubai: Hungry for New Technology

Last week I returned from my first trip to Dubai to support the Management team producing one of the largest events I've ever been a part of: The Dubai Airshow. This exhibition has a strong history, and stands as one of the many jewels in the Sheik's crown when it comes to national pride, engineering prowess, and of course, the ability to showcase wealth.

3D printing plays a (currently) minimal part in the Aerospace industry, but looks to transform the way that people build all kinds of machines - including aircraft. Now, what's important to outline is that I am not professionally interested in the aerospace industry - but I was thrilled to have the experience of working in the UAE amongst some amazingly forward-thinking technologists.

In terms of interest in the tech, I was surprised by how few people attended the conference tracks that I had created. Curated towards the Engineering / Aerospace professional, it seemed as though attendees either already knew all about the topic, or knew and cared very little for a discussion of 3D printing. In all honestly, I was disappointed by how little interest was shown, but I was fascinated to learn more about Dubai's attitude towards innovation and new technology in generally: it's basically very, very important to them. One other huge benefit of the trip was that I was invited to the Gala Dinner for the event on its closing night - which consisted of a huge silver service, black tie party for 2,500 guests at the Palm, Atlantis, with none other than Katy Perry as the evening entertainment. If that's not the height of UAE hosting, then I don't know what is.