Abu Dhabi: Nine vessels arrived in Abu Dhabi on Friday to take part in the Naval Defence Exhibition (Navdex), which will run from Sunday to Thursday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).
Berthing at the Grand Canal of Abu Dhabi yesterday morning, six vessels from the US, Italy, France, the UK and Pakistan arrived while the three other ships are from the UAE Navy.
Navdex said in a statement that the vessels include the USS Chinook Cyclone Class coastal patrol boat from the US, the HMS Shorham and HMS Ramsey mine hunter vessels from the UK, the French FS L’adroit, a Gowend class patrol vessel, the ITS Camandanti Cigala Fulgosi from Italy, and the PNS Jurrat, Jurrat class missile boat from Pakistan.
Naval Staff Colonel Nasser Al Yafei of the UAE Armed Forces and Navdex official spokesperson told Gulf News: “The nine vessels represent the USA, Italy, France, the UK, Pakistan and the UAE. They showcase the latest technologies in the sector.”
Colonel Al Yafei added: “Navdex this year is different from the expo two years ago. In 2011, there were only 15 companies representing four countries compared to 80 companies this year.”
Dedicated to the theme of Maritime Security in all its forms, Navdex will showcase naval defence systems, maritime security equipment, and all elements of military operations from many worldwide, defence-related contractors, Colonel Al Yafei said.
“Exhibits will include dynamic displays on the waterfront alongside the Exhibition Centre as well as the numerous static and interactive stands within the building itself,” Al Yafei added. He pointed out: “The number of visitors in 2011 of Navdex was 600 and this year it is expected to increase to more than 10,000 and the collective exhibition space in 2011 was 3,400 square metres compared to 6,500 square metres in 2013.”
He added that there will be various maritime activities during the event including speeches from the UAE Navy Commander, 5th American Navy Fleet Commander in the Gulf, Deputy Royal Navy from the UK Maritime Command in Bahrain and the UAE Head of the Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority.
Lieutenant Commander Carolyn Jones, from the UK Maritime Component Command in Bahrain, told Gulf News: “Our maritime presence in the region for more than 30 years is a demonstration of our continued commitment to enduring peace and stability. There are more than 100 UK companies participating in Idex and Nadex this year as the UK also has strong political, commercial and trading links in the region.”
“The expo is indeed an excellent opportunity,” she continued. “We are supporting the GCC to develop their capabilities and to attain security in the region.”