Idex Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The UAE armed forces signed deals worth Dh4.97 billion with various international and local companies to purchase arms and other equipment to boost defence capabilities, organisers announced on the first day of international Defence Exhibition (Idex) that kicked off on Sunday.

American, Russian as well as European companies won some of the biggest deals announced during the first day of the exhibition. 

Bangladeshi PM on official visit

The opening ceremony for the show was attended by visiting Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina, among other officials. 

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received Shaikh Hasina at the event.

The UAE leaders exchanged greetings with Shaikh Hasina during the opening ceremony, a top diplomat said on Sunday afternoon.

She toured the exhibition after the ceremony, Mohanmmad Imran, the Bangladeshi Ambassador to the UAE, said.

The prime minister arrived in Abu Dhabi at 6.45am on Sunday for a three-day official visit. Mariam Al Muhairi, minister of State for Food Security, received the prime minister at the airport, the envoy said.

MOUs

Bangladesh and the UAE will sign four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) during her visit, Imran said. “The MoUs are related to [the] power sector, port development, special economic zone,” he said.

The prime minister is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with top UAE officials on Sunday and Monday. She will also meet prominent businessmen in the UAE.

Shaikh Hasina came from Germany as part of a two-nation tour, which is her first foreign visit after assuming the prime ministership last month for a third straight term, Imran said.

Bangladeshis in the UAE are happy about her visit. She will address the community leaders during the visit, he said.

An estimated 700,000 Bangladeshis constitute the third-largest expatriate community in the UAE, after Indians and Pakistanis.

The prime minister will fly back from Abu Dhabi to Dhaka on Wednesday morning. Her last official visit to the UAE was in October 2014.

In Germany, Shaikh Hasina attended the Munich Security Conference (MSC) 2019 on Friday and Saturday.