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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 April 2019

Idex organisers expect UAE defence deals to exceed Dh19bn

This year's exhibition has a record number of exhibitors and participating countries

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, views a vehicle at the Al Masaood Automobiles stand at the 2017 International Defence Exhibition and Conference. Hamad Al Kaabi / Crown Prince Court – Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, views a vehicle at the Al Masaood Automobiles stand at the 2017 International Defence Exhibition and Conference. Hamad Al Kaabi / Crown Prince Court – Abu Dhabi

The value of deals the UAE will announce during next week’s International Defence and Exhibition Conference (Idex) and Naval Defence (Navdex) is likely to exceed the Dh19.17 billion of agreements reached in 2017, organisers said on Monday.

“We expect the deals will have a higher number than those of 2017,” said Staff Major General Pilot Faris Al Mazrouei, chairman of the Higher Organising Committee for Idex and Navdex 2019. The biennial event will take place between February 17 and 21 in Abu Dhabi, and has a record number of exhibitors and participating countries, the organisers said.

The UAE will have the biggest pavilion in terms of space, followed by the US, Germany, France, Italy and Saudi Arabia. The number of participating countries rose 9 per cent to 62, while the number of exhibitors increased six per cent to 1,310, with international companies accounting for 85 per cent of participants. The single biggest space is occupied by the UAE’s International Golden Group, which is one of 170 local companies taking part in the exhibition.

The exhibition is taking place amid an increase in military spending by countries in the region. Military spending as a share of gross domestic product in the Middle East was 5.2 per cent in 2017, the highest among all regions across the globe, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Saudi Arabia led the increase in military spending in 2017, with a 9.2 per cent uptick, according to a report by the institute. Overall Middle East spending rose 6.2 per cent in 2017.

“The three leading events, Idex, Navdex and the International Defence Conference are being organised at a time when complex international and geopolitical conditions and changes are being imposed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the world is witnessing tremendous technological development,” said Major-General Staff Pilot Ishaq Al Balushi, deputy chairman of the committee.

“These dynamic shifts are prompting decision makers to revise traditional defence strategies and develop a new generation of security strategies.”

Updated: February 17, 2019 10:01 AM

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