The United Arab Emirates is all set to welcome the heads of state, heads of government, ministers as well as senior civilian and military authorities to the International Defence Exhibition ( IDEX,) the most important defence industry show in the Middle East.
The one thing that could damper the enthusiasm is the absence of Israeli companies, which were supposed to make their much-anticipated debut in UAE through the 15th edition of IDEX, being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Dozens of Israeli firms were due to take part at the expo, about six months after Israel and UAE signed the Abraham Accords to normalise relations and advance defence and military cooperation, but Israel banned international air travel on January 26 to stem a surge in Covid-19 infections.
The exhibitions will see the participation of four new countries for the first time: Luxembourg, Macedonia, Portugal, and Azerbaijan. These additions have increased the number of countries taking part in IDEX and NAVDEX 2021 to over 60 nations, with 1,300 defence companies due to take part.
“Such participation demonstrates Abu Dhabi’s international position and its ability to attract a wide range of nations to participate in one of the globally leading events in the defence sector, in spite of the ongoing conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” its organisers say.
The show is attended by purchasing managers from defence ministries and executives from companies from all over the world, who have chosen the opportunity provided by the Emirates to close multi-million dollar contracts for the acquisition of weapons systems, logistics equipment and cutting-edge technologies for military use.
IDEX 2021, the Naval Defence Exhibition NAVDEX 2021, and the International Defence Conference are organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence and the General Command of the UAE Armed Forces. The events showcase the latest developments in the defence sector and highlight the latest in military technology, fast-tracking the development of the national defence sector.
To ensure the successful and safe conduct of the show, 133,000 square metres of exhibition space in its 12 halls have been reconfigured to allow the latest products developed by the manufacturers of weapons systems, such as vehicles and battle tanks, missiles of different capacities, drones and all types of logistics equipment, to be displayed in maximum security conditions.
Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee for IDEX and NAVDEX and the International Defence Conference 2021, said: “The UAE is well known as an attractive and safe destination, ready to welcome visitors from across the world. We anticipate a large turnout at IDEX and at NAVDEX, which will be held at the beginning of 2021. In spite of the ongoing challenging global conditions, we are ready to welcome the world once again to Abu Dhabi. The UAE has seen a rapid pace of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. International participants and visitors will have the opportunity to explore the latest in defence and military systems, as well as see some of the most innovative developments in these industries, given the participation of leading international companies.”
NAVDEX 2021, a show exclusively dedicated to the military naval sector, will be held at the ADNEC Marina. On an open-air land and sea exhibition area of some 30,000 square metres, technology companies and shipyards dedicated to the construction of small warships or linked to maritime security will exhibit their latest products.
Major General Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Al-Balushi, Vice Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee for IDEX and NAVDEX and the International Defence Conference 2021, commented: “IDEX and NAVDEX play a pivotal role in developing both the national and international defence sector. Our previous editions are indicative of the ongoing success that IDEX and NAVDEX have had over their history. As we make our final preparations, we have doubled our efforts and we are cooperating with a range of entities working in both the private and public sectors. Our work is proceeding according to thorough strategies that will facilitate the welcoming of VIPs, participants, guests, and visitors of the exhibitions. We look to ensure the safety and security of our participants, as well as organising an event that befits the international reputation and stature of the UAE.”
Both the exhibitions and the conference will discuss how technological adoption can meet shifting global challenges, as well as deliberate on strategic development that can contribute toward world peace.
Everything is in place for the successful conduct of the shows, says Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNEC. “We are continuing to cooperate with a wide range of relevant authorities and have implemented a wide range of precautionary and preventative measures to ensure the health and safety of both visitors and participants. We want to set global benchmarks in the organisation and hosting of international exhibitions, demonstrating Abu Dhabi’s continued status as the region’s capital for business tourism.”
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