URE installs record number of rigging points at ‘Biggest and Best’ Dubai Air Show

1st January 2024

In November 2023, the world’s leading aviation companies and organisations descended on the new Dubai World Central aerotropolis for the biennial Dubai Airshow.
The 645,000 square metre site, which features a purpose-built 42,870 square metres exhibition hall - about the size of seven football fields welcomed some 1,046 exhibitors from 60 countries and drew a trade attendee intake of 60,692. Such a massive event required an equally massive amount of rigging, with Tarsus Group contracting Unusual Rigging and Engineering to handle the gargantuan task.
“In total we provided more than 900 rigging points – 750 of which are hoists, along with more than 2000 metres of truss”, said Unusual rigger, Khalid Ali. “The 2023 airshow has broken all records for us, with only the 2009 event coming close in terms of scale.”
URE has been contracted to provide the rigging for both the Dubai Airshow and MEBAA for over a decade. However, as well as providing rigging points, the Unusual riggers have worked directly with many of the exhibitors too. The team has also worked on outdoor static display areas.
Khalid said: “Perhaps the biggest challenge was completing the build before the venue filled up with exhibitors wanting to build their stands. Things were changing every day, with orders and demands increasing. We were still working when the stand contractors and exhibitors turned up to build their booths and the carpet was being laid, and this of course made things a lot trickier.” He continued: “This is one of the few instances where planning ahead is not the answer. New surprises rear their head every day, so as team leader the best I could do was allocate a designated team for each task on a daily basis, and when or if things got tight, we would all pitch in together.”
Even post show, the challenge continued. “We had five days to dismantle the entire thing…normally not a huge problem but on the first two days, the exhibition hall was still full of stand builders taking down their exhibits. We had to really be organized, creative and prepared to think outside the box to be as efficient as possible with the limited time we had,” said Khalid.
Load in started in mid October with an initial team of 6 people, with this number increasing gradually as the deadline approached. Khalid concluded: “This was a truly enormous event, and the first time for me to lead the airshow project. It was a proud moment to be able to deliver the event as planned. A success for the customer and a success for Unusual Rigging!”

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