Abu Dhabi: With more than 1,100 companies participating in the 11th edition of the UAE’s International Defence Exhibition (Idex) and the second Naval Defence Exhibition (Navdex, organisers expect this year’s five-day event starting from February 17 to see an increase in both attendance and in deals concluded.
Addressing a press conference at the Armed Forces Officers Club, Major General Obaid Al Ketbi, Head of the 2013 IDEX Higher Organizing Committee said strategic additions have been made to keep pace with the growing demand.
“We have secured the participation of 1,112 companies from 59 nations and this 11th edition of IDEX covers a gross area of 124,000 square metres. The UAE itself will be represented by 147 companies,” Major General Al Ketbi said.
“We have invited Defence Ministers from 77 countries, 55 Chiefs of Staff and 17 Naval Commanders and these numbers confirm Idex’s status as the largest joint defence exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa region,” he said.
“To keep pace with the growing demand and an evolving industry landscape, the strategic additions include an area for the newly-introduced unmanned systems, and for the first time helicopter demonstration areas,” Al Ketbi said.
Ali Saeed Bin Harmal Al Daheri, Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (Adnec), who also addressed the press conference said, “We are expecting 60,000 visitors in the UAE during the seven days period.”
“The contribution made by Idex and Navdex to the community; through the increased demand from visitors and exhibitors for the shows, for travel, accommodation, leisure and hospitality facilities; is expected to reach $300 million (Dh1.1 billion),” Al Daheri said.
Highlighting the benefits to the UAE Armed Forces, Colonel Tareq Al Banaei, official spokesperson for the UAE Armed Forces GHQ said, “Idex is an opportunity for our military personnel as it allows us to review the latest technologies in the largest defence exhibition in Mena region. It provides an opportunity to exchange expertise and gain new military knowledge, enabling the UAE Armed Forces and our friends and allies to gain access to the best practice in this vital sector.”
Ahead of Idex the UAE Armed Forces GHQ will also be hosting the Gulf Defence Conference on February 16. “This conference will be a two-star-General-plus event which makes it the highest level conference to be held on the sidelines of an international trade show,” Major General Al Ketbi said.
The three main themes of the Gulf Defence Conference are “New Paradigms in Land Warfare”, “Future Air Power Transformations” and “Naval Force Projection & Future Maritime Operations”.
“Key speakers will include France’s Defence Minister, Al Ketbi added.
With Tawazum as the headline sponsor, Idex is a biennial event held under the patronage of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and is organised by Adnec in association with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ.