World news story

Red Arrows begin major Middle East tour including UAE

The British Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, began yesterday 4th November 2013 a major Middle East tour that will include Dubai where they will take part in the Dubai Air Show.

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Red Arrows
Red Arrows

During the five week tour of the region, the team is expected to perform at Al Ain and in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Jordan.

It is hoped thousands of people will watch the Red Arrows during this tour. Those at the displays will see the Team’s distinctive red jets perform a series of precision formations and dynamic loops and rolls.

Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows represent the United Kingdom and have been thrilling crowds, at home and overseas, since the 1960s.

Squadron Leader Jim Turner, Team Leader of the Red Arrows, said:

“It is a huge honour and privilege to have been invited to the Middle East and have the opportunity to perform our display in so many wonderful locations. We take great pride and pleasure in being able to demonstrate our flying in all of these places – some of which we have never visited before, while others we are very pleased to be afforded the opportunity to return to”.

“Just as countless others have already done in 2013, I hope people in all of the locations we will be flying to, will come to the display, watch our aerobatics and enjoy the experience.”

Squadron Leader Turner added:

“The Red Arrows showcase the speed, agility and precision of the Royal Air Force. Our flying display includes a combination of a synchronised formation aerobatics during the first half of the performance, followed by a more dynamic second half”.

Her Majesty’s Consul General Edward Hobart said:

“I’m looking forward to the upcoming visit by the Red Arrows to Dubai. We all enjoyed seeing them during London 2012 Olympic Games when they helped signal the start of the games with a formation flypast of the stadium and Opening Ceremony. They are the most famous and probably the best display team in the world, their flying displays demonstrate the excellence of the Royal Air Force and I’m confident that spectators will enjoy the performance of the team here in Dubai”.

The jets left the UK on 4th November for the tour.

The Team’s visit to the region has come about after accepting an invitation to the Dubai Air Show, where the Red Arrows will perform each day between 17th and 21st November. There will also be displays at the Al Ain Air Show in the United Arab Emirates between 30th November and 2nd December.

The invitations are being used by the Team as an opportunity to visit other nations in an important region, with which the United Kingdom has strong links to – including across defence, industry and wider markets.

The tour will raise awareness of the UK and highlight the Royal Air Force’s agility, adaptability and capability.

The team, which currently fly BAE Systems Hawk aircraft, consists of nine display pilots, all of whom are from frontline squadrons. Each has previously operated other Royal Air Force fast jets, such as the Tornado or the Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft.

There is also more than 100 support staff in the Red Arrows, including operations and flight planners, engineering technicians, photographers, safety equipment experts, drivers, a public relations department, suppliers and administrators.

Next year is the 50th display season for the Team which is based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire and, since formation, has performed more than 4,500 displays in 54 different countries.

Acknowledged as one of the world’s premier aerobatic teams, the Red Arrows is an iconic British brand and has often taken part in high-profile occasions, both nationally and internationally.


The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is the public face of the Royal Air Force. They promote the excellence of the Royal Air Force, assist in recruiting, contribute to defence diplomacy when displaying overseas and support wider UK interests. 2014 will be the 50th display season for the Red Arrows.

For more details on the Team’s Middle East tour and display venues and times, (Red Arrows)[visit] or contact a member of the Red Arrows public relations department.

Provisional display schedule for the Red Arrows Middle East Tour 2013 – subject to change

  • 7th November – Qatar
  • 10th November – Bahrain
  • 13th November – Oman
  • 17th November – Dubai Air Show
  • 18th November – Dubai Air Show
  • 19th November – Dubai Air Show
  • 20th November – Dubai Air Show
  • 21st November – Dubai Air Show
  • 24th November – Abu Dhabi
  • 26th November – Kuwait
  • 30th November – Al Ain Air Show
  • 1st December – Al Ain Air Show
  • 2nd December – Al Ain Air Show
Published 5 November 2013