The upcoming editions of the International Defence Exhibition, IDEX, and Naval Defence, NAVDEX, held under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan will run from 17th to 21st February at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Increasing in growth year-on-year, IDEX 2019 is set to celebrate its silver jubilee with the largest edition ever since the expo’s inception in 1993. Spanning the last 25 years, IDEX has become one of the largest specialised defence exhibitions regionally and globally.
The International Defence Conference, IDC 2019, will serve as a precursor to IDEX/NAVDEX from 14th to 16th February at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Set to convene 1,200 experts and specialists from all over the world, the conference will discuss topics related to technology, science as well as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 4IR, with relevance to bolstering peace and security in the world.
Staff Major General Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of IDEX and NAVDEX 2019, Major General Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Al Balushi, Deputy Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee, and Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, ADNEC, made the announcement today at a press conference held at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre.
Al Mazrouei, said, “Patronised by key decision-makers, experts and specialists in the defence industries sector, IDEX in its 25-year anniversary is set to become one of the largest specialised exhibitions globally. To its credit, in a short period of time, NAVDEX has also proved its unique position among the world’s leading exhibitions in the maritime defence industry.
“Ahead of the two highly anticipated events, the International Defence Conference will take centre stage, bringing together prominent experts and military leaders to discuss important security and defence issues pertaining to the region and the world.”
Al Mazrouei added, “All these notable milestones are a result of the support of our wise leadership under President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.”
Al Mazrouei noted that more than 170 local companies from the defence and its supporting sectors will participate in the 2019 edition of the exhibitions.
Al Balushi, said, “The three leading events, IDEX, NAVDEX and IDC, are being organised at a time when complex international and geopolitical conditions and changes are being imposed by 4IR, and the world is witnessing tremendous technological development. These dynamic shifts are prompting decision makers to revise traditional defence strategies and develop a new generation of security strategies.”
Al Dhaheri, said, “Over the past 25 years, the number of exhibitors frequenting IDEX has increased by 400 per cent, with the number of participating countries rising by 250 per cent over the same period. Visitor footfall rose by 500 per cent, while the show floor dedicated for the event has gone up by 900 per cent compared to the first edition in 1993.”
The total area dedicated to IDEX and NAVDEX will increase by 26 per cent to 168,000 square metres compared to 133,000 square metres in 2017. The number of exhibitors for IDEX and NAVDEX will increase by six per cent to 1,310 compared to the 1,235 companies in the previous edition. International companies will account for 85 per cent of the total number of companies, while the number of local enterprises exhibiting will reach 170, representing 15 per cent of the exhibitors.
The number of participating countries will also increase by nine per cent or 62 countries compared with 57 in 2017. This edition will host 33 national pavilions or 18 per cent increase as compared to 28 in the previous edition.
The exhibiting space dedicated to NAVDEX 2019 will increase by 52 per cent to 45,000 square metres, compared with 30,000 square metres in 2017. The number of exhibitors will increase to 113 or 14 per cent, as against 99 in the previous year. The number of participating military units is expected to increase by 66 per cent to 20 units from 15 countries.
To conclude, Al Dhaheri, extended his appreciation to the General Headquarters, GHQ, of the UAE Armed Forces, and UAE Ministry of Defence for their support and collaboration in organising IDEX, NAVDEX, and IDC.
IDEX and NAVDEX will feature several new components in the upcoming edition, including an IDEX museum that details and celebrates the exhibition’s 25-year journey. For the first time, IDC will be combined with the Abu Dhabi International Offset Conference, ADIOC, with the aim of creating a comprehensive global forum covering all defence and security issues, as well as relevant innovations of the 4IR under the theme – “Shaping Our Shared Future: Strengthening Our Security and Prosperity through Innovation”. This edition will also include a dedicated wing for Artificial Intelligence, focusing on advanced and smart systems participating at the exhibition.
As part of its agenda, the conference will host interactive discussions on four key focus areas: offset, security and stability, knowledge economy, and innovation and artificial intelligence. The event will also seek to strengthen the leading status of the UAE as a global hub for such specialised conferences.