The security market in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is entering a sustained growth process  with an increasing need for sophisticated equipment to face international terrorism, to protect national borders and to build disaster resilience, a report by Frost and Sullivan revealed.
“The defence budgets of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Jordan in 2012 was Dh250 billion ($68 billion), while the overall defence spending in the Middle East is slated to cross Dh368 billion ($100 billion) by 2015,” the report showed.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia alone accounts for approximately 60 per cent of total defence spending in the Mena which is Dh357 billion ($97 billion) in 2010-2018 period.  The UAE comes in fourth place at the international level with defence spending expected to double from $5.5 billion at present levels to $10 billion in the next 10 years.
The report stressed that the US will continue to be the dominant player in the defence equipment market, with about 35 per cent of the global procurement in this field.
“China, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will exhibit the fastest market growth. This expansion comes from a combination of fast economic growth along with the increasing threats of terror,” the report indicated.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development also highlighted these figures, saying that the UAE had started looking forward to such sophisticated equipment in order to protect its achievements.
“In line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, the UAE is seeking developments in many sectors, particularly in the fields of aviation, aeorospace and defence and to drive them to new highs ,” said the department.
It added that there will be 1,112 companies representing 59 countries and 38 national pavilions taking part in the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex) and the Naval Defence Exhibition (Navdex) from February 17-21, 2013.
The department added that in 2011, Idex, the only international defence exhibition and conference in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region demonstrating the latest technology across land, sea and air sectors of defence, attracted over 60,000 attendees and 1,060 exhibitors from 52 countries.
The department said that the UAE will host the largest country pavilion at this year’s Idex with more than 147 UAE-based companies, adding that it will be under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Khalifah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Officials said that VIPs, leaders of world business community and defence industry, more than 77 defence ministers, 79 top commanders and chiefs of staff and military delegates from 82 countries will attend the launching ceremony of 11th Idex.
By Shehab Al Makahle