HH General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (C), tours NAVDEX - Naval Defence Exhibition, at the National Exhibition Center (ADNEC). Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: 
The curtain came down on the 11th International Defence Exhibition (Idex 2013), and the second Naval Defence Exhibition (Navdex) as well as the Gulf Defence Conference on Thursday, the UAE committing Dh14.1 billion in defence orders.

Overall, the event came to a close on strong positive feedback from exhibitors with more than 50 per cent committing to return to the show in 2015.

Major General Obaid Al Ketbi , Idex spokesperson, told Gulf News that 2013 had been a landmark with the number of exhibitors and a record in the number of visitors.

“The number of exhibitors soared to 1,112 companies from 59 countries and the number of visitors increased to more than 80,000. The number of visitors was expected and we have already started preparing for Idex 2015,” said Major General Al Ketbi.

Participants and organisers hailed the event as a huge success. “With regard to the number of exhibitors, official delegations and defence deals, this year had been a landmark. This is the feedback from the exhibitors and the companies taking part in the show,’ said Al Ketbi.

Idex is one of the major military exhibitions at the international level and is the biggest military expo at the regional level that showcases emerging technology, equipment, trends and strategy.

Idex 2013 was held under the patronage of the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on February 17 through February 21, 2013, and was officially opened by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

“What was also unique this year was Navdex with its second edition that’s being held in parallel, at the Adnec Marina and connected via a pedestrian bridge to the main exhibition venue,” he said.

The UAE had a significant presence at Idex 2013 with 174 exhibitors.

The deals during this exhibition amounted to Dh14.1 ($4.1 billion) through 55 deals. On Tuesday, 19 deals worth Dh4.9 billion were signed between the UAE Armed Forces and various companies, both local and foreign. On Monday, 17 contracts for purchase of drones, missiles and military vehicles worth a total of Dh5.2 billion were signed at Idex.

The largest of the contracts announced is worth Dh1.9 billion, signed with the Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Centre (AMMROC) which will provide aircraft management, maintenance and repair services to the Armed Forces, according to Al Ketbi.

The largest deal, worth Dh1.4 billion, was for 750 mine-resistant, ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicles from Oshkosh Corp. The third largest contract worth Dh829 million was signed with the UAE’s Caracal Light Ammunition which will supply UAE-made ammunition of different types and calibres.