Event’s role in strengthening alliances highlighted by international representatives
The International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) and Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX) has served as a major forum for building partnerships and underscoring cross-border relationships as senior business, military and political figures from around the world have converged in Abu Dhabi to participate in MENA’s largest tri-service defence show.
During this week’s IDEX, which is being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, a number of alliances have been forged and expansion plans have been finalized. FNSS of Turkey entered into a partnership with Al Jaber Group of the UAE to produce wheeled armoured vehicles for the UAE Armed Forces; the Higher College of Technology has teamed with Johns Hopkins University to boost its masters engineering program; while Rockwell Collins has announced its expansion to the GCC with the opening of offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
With dignitaries including 66 defence ministers, 64 chiefs of staff, top commanders, VIP guests and leaders from the world defence industry being present on site, IDEX and NAVDEX have also helped cement bilateral and multilateral relationships that reach beyond business. Lufti Varoglu, department head in the Turkish national pavilion at IDEX, reflects on the significance of interactions during the show. “We view IDEX as more than a central forum for our defence industry. What we are after are positive and strong political relationships with the UAE and GCC nations as partners in defence.”
In building on this theme, a representative for the South African pavilion noted, “Who we choose to work with absolutely helps us to strengthen international relationships. In this way, IDEX is an extremely valuable forum for positive diplomatic interaction. The exhibition helps us to establish and maintain valuable bonds not only in the GCC, but on a global level.”
From Ukraine, representatives were pleased with the level of international relationships built during the events. “The Ukrainian pavilion was pleased to welcome high level representatives and delegates and especially honored by the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai,” notes Andriy Kusmiu, press officer for UKRSPECEXPORT. “Since 1997 our industries have viewed IDEX as an excellent forum to showcase our latest technologies while building strong business and cross-border relationships.”
“With IDEX growing each year in terms of exhibitors, visitors and official delegations, there is little doubt its role as a forum for establishing and strengthening relationships will only expand in the coming editions,” says His Excellency Major General Obaid Al Ketbi, Head of Committees and Spokesman for IDEX 2011.
Also contributing to partnerships at IDEX, The Gulf Defence Conference (GDC), held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nayhan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, allowed over 400 dignitaries to join in addressing emerging threats and novel technologies involved in GCC defence and security.
As the GDC, IDEX and NAVDEX continue into future editions, the partnerships forged will continue to promote regional security and stability well into the future.
First held in 1993, IDEX is the largest tri-service defense exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa 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. Defence deals worth a combined 18.5 billion dirhams in contract value were announced by the UAE Armed Forces at the last IDEX in 2009.
IDEX 2011 marks the show’s 10th anniversary and encompasses indoor, outdoor and marine exhibit areas at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. New for 2011 is NAVDEX, the Middle East’s premier exhibition dedicated to the naval defense and coastal security sector, which is running in parallel with IDEX 2011. For more information, please visit: www.idexuae.ae.