Abu Dhabi, 21st February, 2013: The International Defence Exhibition and conference (IDEX) today closed its doors on the largest exhibition in the event’s two decade history, with 1.112 exhibiting companies from 59 countries and over 80,000 visitors. Today also marks the close of the second Naval Defence Exhibition, (NAVDEX) which doubled in size since its inception with over 80 exhibitors. During the exhibitions, the UAE Armed Forces signed 55 defence contracts worth a collective 14 billion AED, reinforcing the nation’s commitment to upholding an advanced and peaceful defence infrastructure.
“The UAE is proud to host IDEX, the largest land, air and sea defence exhibition in in the MENA region and one of the most strategically significant defence exhibitions on the world stage,” said Major General Obaid Al Ketbi, Head of the IDEX Higher Organizing Committee. “Over the past two decades, IDEX has helped participants and exhibitors alike establish valuable strategic partnerships while facilitating knowledge-transfer amongst the world’s leading defence companies, the UAE, and our friends and allies.“
Reflecting the strategic significance of the exhibition, exhibitors from 2013 have already booked more than 50% of the exhibition area for IDEX and NAVDEX 2015. While plans for IDEX and NAVDEX 2015 are currently beginning, the next NAVDEX will include an expanded promenade and a deeper canal, allowing capacity to host larger visiting vessels directly at the exhibition site.
The Gulf Defence Conference held last Saturday, as a two-star-General-plus event, was the highest level conference to be ever held accompanying an international trade show. 6 defence ministers, 12 chiefs of staff and 15 military leaders joined analysts and decision makers from around the world in discussing evolving trends in the defence world.
IDEX and NAVDEX 2013 also witnessed the introduction of the dedicated unmanned systems and helicopter demonstration areas featuring hands-on technology workshops and purpose-built exhibition platforms, as well as the Live Demonstration Area establishing a forum for industry leaders to showcase the latest in defence technology. NAVDEX was able to host six naval visiting vessels at the ADNEC quayside, in addition to the eight visiting vessels at Mina Zayed.
“I have been coming to IDEX for the last 14 years, and the progression has been very impressive” said Lexalynn Hooper, representative of the Association of the United States Army. “The improved organisation and increased visitor traffic this year are testament to the growing global importance of IDEX. There is no doubt that the USA will be back for more in 2015.”
For Koray Deger, representative of the Turkish country pavilion, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) is an ideal place to host IDEX. “The layout is great, and the facilities are world class. Turkey is amongst the biggest exhibitors at IDEX, and there may even be more Turkish companies applying to exhibit for IDEX 2015, in two years’ time.”
One of the highlights for Deger was the opening ceremony: “each year it is more and more of a spectacle, and this year was perfect.”
Germany is the second-largest foreign exhibitor at this year’s IDEX, after the USA, and German companies have been exhibiting some innovative new technologies here, including several non-lethal counter terrorism measures. “I am very happy with this year’s IDEX,” said Wolfgang Baumbach, German pavilion representative, “and so too are the small and medium-sized companies that we represent. IDEX is a must, and we are 100% returning for the next show in two years’ time.”
Audrey Favale, representative of the French pavilion, highlighted the international importance of IDEX 2013. “The media exposure that the French companies exhibiting receive is great,” she said. “For the smaller companies the exposure is also vital. It allows them to showcase their products on the international stage. France will definitely be back for IDEX 2015.”
For Adam Johnson, the UK pavilion representative at this year’s IDEX, the event is important “not just regionally but globally. There are over 100 British companies exhibiting this year and IDEX provides these companies with the opportunity to seek joint ventures with their UAE counterparts.”
Johnson added that he “looks forward to UAE companies exporting their defence and security expertise to the UK in the future.”
“The success of this week is a reflection of the close relationship between the UK and UAE Armed Forces” he added. “We will definitely be back for IDEX 2015.”
About IDEX and NAVDEX 2013
First held in 1993, IDEX (International Defence Exhibition & Conference) is the largest joint defence exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. IDEX takes place biennially under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and is organised by ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company) in association with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ. IDEX, the only international defence and maritime security exhibition in the MENA region, demonstrates the latest technology across land, sea and air sectors of defence. It is a unique platform to establish and strengthen relationships with government departments, businesses and armed forces and in 2011 attracted 1,060 exhibiting companies from 52 countries and over 60,000 attendees.
IDEX 2013 features NAVDEX, an area that provides a dedicated focus on maritime security including daily live waterborne demonstrations, visiting warships, boats berthed on the marina pontoons and an exhibition hall on the dock-edge.
IDEX 2013, with Tawazun as the Headline Sponsor, took place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from the 17th-21st of February.
For more information go to www.idex.ae or www.navdex.ae