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900 Exhibitors, 100 Delegations Due at IDEX Show

National security and defence budgets will remain recession-proof and grow by more than 80 per cent between 2009 and 2018, according to a new global market outlook report issued last month.

The robust forecast in the ‘Global Homeland Security, Homeland Defence and Intelligence Markets Outlook’ from the US-based Homeland Security Research Corp. matches the high levels of interest in the upcoming 9th International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2009) in Abu Dhabi.

IDEX, one of the world’s largest defence events, will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from February 22 to 26, 2009, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, Ruler of Abu Dhabi and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The biennial exhibition, which showcases equipment and services for land, sea and airborne systems from the world’s leading providers, is one of the most significant events on the global defence industry calendar. Its last edition, in 2007, witnessed more than US$545 million (AED 2 billion) in contracts awarded during the five-day event.

Almost 70 per cent of those contracts – US$380 million worth (AED 1.4 billion) – originated from the UAE Armed Forces, underscoring the growing importance of the MENA region for the global defence industry.

Organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company in association with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ, IDEX is also a vital networking opportunity for the major players in defence.

High-profile participation

IDEX 2009 will welcome key decision-makers from governments, military and the defence industry, including defence ministers, chiefs-of-staff; senior government officials, strategists; analysts, international contractors, systems integrators and service providers. More than 100 government and military delegations from across the Middle East and around the world have confirmed participation.

Top international defence firms have also booked significant exhibition space. These include: Thales, Sagem, Boeing, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Kamaz Incorporated and Denel. Major regional exhibitors include Jordan’s King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) and Advanced Electronics Company from Saudi Arabia.

From the UAE, exhibitors include Mubadala Development Company, Tawazun, Offset Group, Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB), International Golden Group (IGG), Al Masaood and Bin Jabr.

In all, more than 900 exhibitors from a total of 48 countries are confirmed, featuring 32 national pavilions. The IDEX exhibition is expected to draw more than 40,000 visitors.

Showcase of technology

Today, IDEX is considered the ideal platform for the defence industry to showcase emerging technology, equipment, trends and strategy to the region’s key decision-makers.

The exhibitor portfolio at IDEX includes land, sea and air vehicles and systems, radar, electronic warfare and electro-optic systems, weapons and ordnance, C4ISR, CBRN defence, homeland and internal security, simulation and training, logistics, medical and survival systems and personal equipment.

IDEX 2009’s offering has been enhanced by additions to its host venue, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The completion of Phase 2 of ADNEC’s facilities has increased the indoor gross exhibit space to reach 55,000 square metres. For the first time, IDEX will occupy all 12 halls of the newly completed exhibition centre. In addition IDEX 2009 will showcase larger tri-service exhibits in the central outdoor display area.

The naval sector will receive a tremendous boost at IDEX 2009, thanks to a substantial investment made by ADNEC to dredge the adjacent Al Bateen Channel to six metres to enable warships of up to frigate size to berth directly across from the exhibition centre.

The 350-metre quay will be connected to the venue via a footbridge, affording easy access for visitors and delegates. In addition, facilities for the traditional small craft demonstration have been improved, allowing companies to demonstrate a wider range of smaller vessels including patrol boats and landing craft designed for inshore and amphibious operations.

Naval vessels, including warships, undersea defence technology, marine communication, naval electronic warfare and maritime UAVs, and a full range of maritime systems including port and coastal protection will also be featured at the show.

The 2009 edition will also centre on homeland security, a developing sector of the defence industry.

Mobility Track

IDEX 2009 will also provide further opportunities to exhibitors to demonstrate their products at the newly-developed live mobility track, in front of the ADNEC grandstand.

The Live Vehicle Mobility Demonstrations will allow visitors to watch a full range of land vehicles as they display their speed, agility and obstacle-crossing capabilities over challenging terrain.

IDEX continues to build on its world-class credentials. The enhancement of the IDEX venue and the vital elements of the show will further boost IDEX's stature as a show-piece defence industry event for the Middle East, Africa and the Asian region. Undoubtedly, the 2009 edition will be the best and largest-ever edition of this key defence show since inception.

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Global Defence Industry Makes A Beeline for Abu Dhabi