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By Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan

United Arab Emirates has been put on the armaments industry map by the successful holding of successive IDEX

Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Local, regional and international defence manufactures will showcase a comprehensive selection of tri-service defence and security systems, services, technology and equipment.

Achievements of IDEX

IDEX has emerged as the most interactive exhibiting and networking platform in the Middle East, Africa and Asia regions with an international focus on developments within the dynamic defence industry of today. This year IDEX is set to host an even bigger display of technology, combined with a significantly greater participation from the regional and international industry.

IDEX now counted amongst the most established and prestigious international defence shows/exhibitions provides an excellent opportunity for the manufactures and far and wide to share expertise and technological achievements and enhance their global presence.

Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE

IDEX is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, from 20th-24th February 2011. It is organised by ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company) in association with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ. Since defence budgets of the regional countries in the Middle East and Africa are constantly on the rise, and according to recent research by Frost ‘&’ Sullivan, the GCC and Jordan defence budget is expected to hit USUS$68Bn (Dh249 billion) in 2011, growing to around US$80 billion by 2015. Overall defence spending in the Middle East is also expected to cross US$100Bn by 2015. So, 10th IDEX would be huge success and bring good desired goals.

Full Support of the UAE Armed Forces

Right from the beginning, the Armed Forces of the UAE support the concept and holding of the IDEX in the country. The Armed Forces have helped it to establish its position in the international calendar. IDEX has now emerged as a icon of defence business in the Middle East for the regional and as well as international manufacturers.

High Expectations

With having expanded ADNEC venue and the new naval facilities on site, it is hoped that the IDEX 2011 will represent an important chapter in the developing story of this key international event where the latest in tri-service defence technology and innovative solutions will, again, be unveiled.

It is predicted that strong economic growth, continuing regional security concerns and the desire to develop indigenous capabilities through the use of offset programmes are driving the demand and strong growth projections for the region in the run up to IDEX and NAVDEX 2011.

Main Idea

The nature of the defence arena has evolved through the years. Technology today has become one of the key focuses in Defence and Security. In an ever-changing environment, it is vital to be kept up-to-date on the latest technologies and developments.

In this connection, the IDEX provides a fresh avenue for all participants in the Defence and Security industry to exchange know how and share experiences, in application of current leading-edge technology, planning and operations, procurement and logistics in the field of Defence and National Security.

People relating to R&D, Policy and Acquisition, procurement executives, capability manager, attache, scientists, engineers, designers, Defense specialists, Defence Researchers and the last but not the least, Defence Companies participate in IDEX and take advantage from it.

(a) Preparation for the domestic defence production industry to compete and match with regional or any international companies.
(b) It may also give a fillip to UAE local defence industry
(c) The country’s defence exports may be increased in the GCC because a larger number of the UAE local defence manufactures i.e. Burkan Munitions Systems and others will be actively participating and has the capacity to capture the GCC markets in the near future.
(d) Facilitations with regard of fairly economical cost as compare to individual company trips in the exhibitions
(e) It facilitates manufacturers and suppliers of defence and security technology in securing contacts and contracts within the Middle East and surrounding regions.
(f) Concept and chances of transfer of technology may be easily accorded.
(g) The decision makers can easily select the state-of-the-art weaponry systems in the IDEX.
(h) It will promote the UAE and its institutions and will allow foreigners the opportunity to learn more about the country’s achievements, cultural aspects and Arabic and Islamic traditions.
(i) UAE has founded such exhibitions by building state-of-the-art infrastructure, providing government facilities and competent nationals, experienced in organising and hosting international exhibitions.
(j) Seeking of foreign investments
(k) Greater scope for joint ventures
(l) Strengthening of country’s defence capabilities
(m) Get first hand knowledge about the latest machineries, equipments and arms production in the region and around the globe
(n) Get facilitation for the instructors and researchers etc.


The UAE has achieved a global reputation for staging and organising security and defence exhibitions; this reputation is due to its success in hosting IDEX and the Dubai Air show.
The exhibition has a long history of growth and has served as a major influence in the armaments decisions of nations located in the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Attention from the world’s defence and homeland security industry will be on Abu Dhabi as it stages the monumental 10th anniversary edition of IDEX. Many domestic, regional and international defence manufactures will showcase the latest products and technology indoor exhibition halls.

Exhibitors will demonstrate a comprehensive range of highly technical manoeuvres and operational abilities for the latest land vehicles, UAV’s, UGV’s and sea craft. From small arms to long range artillery, various types of ground transportation, tanks and armoured personnel carriers, light aircraft to state-of-the-art fighter aircraft, fast patrol boats to submarines, computers to radars, etc most items have to be showcased in the upcoming IDEX.

UAE feels proud about the IDEX exhibition’s success and the growing participation of major companies from industrialized countries. IDEX enjoys a fine reputation among military equipment and armament manufacturers. Hence, they showcase the latest military technology in UAE markets. This is, of course, due to the great confidence these companies have in UAE markets and institutions.

IDEX is not an end in itself but a means to promote soft image of the UAE. It represents an opportunity for foreigners to visit UAE and learn about its achievements, cultural acquisitions, Arab traditions and noble Islamic values. It is also an opportunity for UAE citizens to interact with other cultures.

Historic Perspectives

Since its inception in 1993, IDEX has grown tremendously to become a globally recognised tri-service defence exhibition and the largest event in the Middle East and Africa. The International Defense Exhibition & Conference, or IDEX, is a biennial arms and defense technology sales exhibition. According to many prestigious regional and international defence journals IDEX is the largest arms exhibition in the Middle East. The business conducted at the 2005 IDEX totaled 2 billion US dollars.

Year on year IDEX continues to attract a growing attention of international decision-makers and key military and government representatives. The strong representation of individuals from the GCC and MENA countries make IDEX a primary mechanism to reach these influential audiences.

Originally launched on February 14th, 1993, with the active participation of more than 350 companies, representing 34 countries, one of the key features of IDEX’ success has been the active participation of a wide range of military delegations.

The second in the series, in March 1995, saw the participation of more than 600 companies from 55 countries, with more than 45,000 visitors during the five-day show.

The third IDEX, in 1997, was honoured by the visit of H.H. President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan – the late President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces – who toured the entire exhibition.

IDEX 1999 saw further growth, with 848 companies from 41 countries receiving 70 military delegations.

The fifth IDEX, in 2001, built on this success, attracting 865 companies from 43 countries and numerous delegations led by Heads of State, Ministers of Defence, Chiefs of Staff and Heads of Military Procurement which underlined its unique position in the region and further enhanced the status of the UAE as the host nation.

IDEX 2003, the sixth event, maintained the show’s reputation as an important platform for the announcement of military contracts and as a reflection of the strategic importance of the region.

In 2005 IDEX continued the successful series with the seventh edition. The event continued to see growth across the show with substantial visitor numbers, exhibitors and delegations participating at the event.

Consolidation in the defence industry was mirrored in exhibitor attendance at IDEX 2007 but the list of international delegates continued to grow and contracts worth more than $545m (Dhs2bn) were announced, including $380m (Dhs1.4bn) signed by the UAE Armed Forces.

IDEX 2009 was the 9th edition of the event, took place on the 22-26 February 2009 in Abu Dhabi, UAE at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Combining the Gulf Defence Conference and an extensive exhibition featuring over 900 local and international companies, IDEX had become renowned for assembling the broadest range of suppliers, delegations, industry analysts and military strategists and had gained an enviable reputation as one of the world’s foremost venues for defence business.

Chairman’s Welcome Message

His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan Chairman Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company

It is an honour for Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, in association with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ, to organise the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX), to be held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

IDEX 2011 celebrates the 10th edition of this prestigious event which has grown since it’s inception in 1993 to become one of the world’s largest and most important tri-service exhibition for the global defence industry.

The guidance of our leaders including HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces have been instrumental in the evolution of IDEX, into the outstanding event that it is today.

Over the recent years significant investment in resources and facilities at our host venue, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), have enabled IDEX to sustain its reputation as the largest defence exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa region.

We are proud to continue our commitment to the 10th anniversary edition with the opening of additional venue facilities and two on-site hotels for IDEX 2011.

Regional and international participation

Over 200 companies from Arab Nations confirmed to exhibit at 10th International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) and Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX), the evolving nature of the region’s defence industry which is moving from buyer to supplier, is being highlighted.

Representing Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, some of the companies exhibiting at this year’s show include Griffon Aerospace, TLD Group, NP Aerospace and Hawker Pacific, offering aerospace vehicle manufacture, ground support, personal protection and aviation sales In Aerospace, Jordan Light Vehicle Manufacturing exhibiting its range of light combat and transport vehicles, says a press release issued yesterday.

Headline sponsors of IDEX, Tawazun Holding

Headline sponsors of IDEX, Tawazun Holding, a government-owned company designed to diversify the national economy into a wide range of industrial and commercial ventures, and its related subsidiaries such as Caracal International, and Tawazun Advanced Defence Systems in Land Defence and Abu Dhabi Ship Building a world-class ship builder, specialising in the construction, repair, refit, and upgrade of naval, military and commercial vessels, Abu Dhabi Mar specialising in the building and refitting of yachts, Stellar Composites specialising in consumer and defence vessels, and Ocean Power International, suppliers of Thordon Bearings in Naval Defence.

Statement of the Mohamed Al Mashgouni, IDEX 2011 Show Director

Mohamed Al Mashgouni, IDEX 2011 Show Director, said “We are seeing an emerging role for Arab nations in the defence sector; while this region is still investing heavily on importing technologies, the manufacturing and supply capabilities in the region, have also ramped up in the last few years. In line with this, nearly 10 percent of our exhibitors at this edition are from the region – providing a strong backdrop for this year’s show. Exhibitors from the Arab world, will therefore definitely, be among the ones to watch this year”.

Concluding Remarks

The International Defence Exhibition and Conference would now further pave the way towards mutual understanding and cooperation between the nations jointly involved in serving the global cause of peace where United Arab Emirates keeps playing its dominant role in the GCC and Middle East.

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