Abu Dhabi to host Gulf’s biggest defence show

August 10th, 2008 - 5:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Abu Dhabi, Aug 10 (IANS) This capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is gearing up to host what will be the Middle East’s biggest defence exhibition early next year. Around 900 weapons producers from over 50 countries have confirmed their participation in the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) 2009 to be held here Feb 22-26, the state-run Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

“More than 900 exhibitors from over 50 countries and 30 national pavilions are set to occupy all 12 halls of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC)’s 55,000-square metre venue at the February show,” the report quoted Mohammed Omair Al Mashgouni, IDEX 2009 director, as saying.

“Key participants include the US, Britain, Italy, France, Russia, Turkey and other main defence producers,” he added.

According to Al Mashghouni, the number of companies participating could be more than 900 as more firms will likely confirm their participation.

“This show is the largest in the region and has become one of the biggest defence exhibitions in the world,” he said, while dismissing reports in a section of the foreign media that the UAE has become a venue to promote weapons by organizing such events.

“The UAE’s main aim of such events is not to promote weapons. These are defence exhibitions, which include purely defence weapons. Our intention is to give those companies a chance to show their products and technology,” he said.

The exhibition director said that the IDEX attracts more than 40,000 visitors who also take time out and go sightseeing in the UAE.

“The IDEX will also incorporate the Gulf Defence Conference, which is regarded in international academic and military circles as a top forum on defence strategies and technologies. It will also include live demonstrations on land, air and sea,” he said.

The IDEX was first held in 1993.

The 2009 event will be the ninth edition, and is likely to be inaugurated by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

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