The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2015) is the most strategically important tri-service defence exhibition in the world that put Abu Dhabi on global defense industry map, said an economic report by the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
IDEX, the only international defence exhibition and conference in the MENA region, demonstrated the latest technology across land, sea and air sectors of defence, said the report.
The importance of this edition is highlighted by bringing a new first to IDEX 2015 through the launch of another key platform, the 1st edition of the Unmanned Systems Exhibition (UMEX).
UMEX 2015 will provide a professional platform for security and defence manufacturers to meet operators in the field and establish lucrative business relationships while promoting the latest developments and benefits of unmanned systems. Keeping pace with the forefront of industry innovations and market requirements, the new UMEX Exhibition is expected to be a key area of focus by experts and stakeholders attending over the course of five days.
The technologies of the unmanned aircraft will be one of the issues that will be discussed in the session of IDEX 2015, which will be attended by senior decision-makers from governments, armies and defence industry from around the world to discuss many of the most important issues in the field of defence.
The defence experts from the private and public sectors will touched on this important subject by providing analysis of the role of unmanned techniques to change spending and employment methods and military training as well as determine the worldwide future powers landmarks.
The techniques of unmanned aircrafts has experienced the highest rates of increase in global military spending over the past five years precisely in the United States where it has increased the allocated budget to them from USD 3.3 billion dollars in 2010 to reach USD 5.72 billion dollars this year.
At a time when countries in the Middle East and North Africa region spend more than USD16.5 billion dollars on systems of unmanned aircraft and helicopters over the next ten years, thus it sheds more light on the global shift in aspects of focus and defence spending.
Perhaps the great importance of this session of IDEX emerges from the fact that this session comes at a time when the region is experiencing political and military developments focused on the fight against terrorism, which strikes many parts of the Middle East and the world, and the emergence of the spectre of the Cold War again, that warrants a hidden or overt race to possess the power of deterrence. It is in this sense will contribute to the creation of a policy of a 'balance of terror" which forms, in its essence, one of the main pillars to avoid the outbreak of war.
-- As far the apparently military and defence side is considered the most prominent aspect of this global event, the peaceful side is in fact the most eminent face in IDEX since its first session 22 years ago and up to now.
This has been highlighted by the words of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
"The UAE does not look at the exhibitions of Abu Dhabi International Defence, IDEX, and Dubai Civil Aviation, as platforms for arms, but rather it considers them in purely commercial, tourist and technical terms, to showcase all that is new in the military technology of defensive weapons to protect the land and national wealth", stressing that the two exhibitions are twin and complementary to each other in the qualitative development and global fame." Sheikh Mohammed continued, "IDEX is gaining widespread importance and fame among countries and manufacturers and producers companies of weapons and defence equipment, because it represents a window to these countries, for international companies to see through it to the region's markets. It represents a platform to showcase the latest products of manufacturers and the military-industrial technology companies to researchers about all that is new from countries and governments in the region to provide their armed forces with equipment and defensive weapons they need to defend and protect their territorial integrity, their independence and their national wealth." He highlighted that the continuity of IDEX in its momentum and development, and the size of the turnout of countries, companies, factories, and individuals, also demonstrates its success as an economic, technical and touristic event worldwide, which has its place at the level of trade and the global exhibition industry and it has its weight as a civilized Forum in which its visitors can be briefed on the civilization of our people and to the oldest and latest historical landmarks of our country and our Islamic Arab customs and cultures.
"The success of the exhibition industry in our state in its trade, tourism, health, cultural, scientific and other kinds is due to several reasons; the most important one is the balanced policy of the leadership of our country, both at the regional and international events level, or at the political, economic, cultural and humanitarian level that has been pursued by our country since its founding in the era of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and this approach is still a beacon for our policies led by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, who put his footsteps on the path of national pride and peace."
-- IDEX 2015 sessions are the larger and more broad-reaching than the previous session, IDEX 2013, which involved 112,000 companies from 59 countries around the world showcasing their products in front of 80,000 people. Informed sources estimate that the value of deals witnessed by the exhibition was about USD 10 billion, and exhibiting companies booked 50 percent of the space in the next session in 2015.
Held every two years, the Organising Supreme Committee of IDEX 2013 at the end of the exhibition announced the start of preparations for the next session, including work to expand the maritime exhibition by digging a channel enabling the participation of larger ships for the next session, as the largest ship in the previous session was 90 meters.
Thus, IDEX constitutes a unique platform to form relations with government institutions and specialised companies as well as the armed forces, and to discuss issues affecting this sector.
The accompanying conference to the exhibition will encourage the discussion of issues that revolve around the central theme of the exhibition, which is the future of technology in the field of defence, and will review issues such as the role for future technology that armies need to develop.
The conference will also discuss the cooperation of multi-national forces during operations, methods of operations, troop formations and training, highlighting the most effective, necessary and new technology to fight new threats such as electronic or cyber attacks.
It is noteworthy that IDEX, since its inception in 1993, has provided the floor for national companies which enabled them to enter into partnership agreements with international companies to transfer technology and knowledge to the local market and local products and as such, it acquired 70 percent more contracts and transactions than in the previous session.
The exhibition also offers the marine vessels NAVDEX, which will be held in conjunction with IDEX, showing many innovations in the field of sea-protection to secure the coastline, in addition to other developments in the maritime defence sector from major manufacturers of ships, frigates and submarines.
The attention of observers at IDEX to the great development of the status of national companies and their share of the sector, considered a historic milestone in technical and technological advancement, and the experiences they have in the manufacture, design and training, defence and military systems sector reflects first and foremost on the support given to national companies by the leadership of the state, as represented by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Thereby, IDEX has contributed over the past two decades to establishing distinctive strategic partnerships and has paved the way for the transfer of knowledge and expertise to a number of major international companies in the fields of defence manufacturing and advanced technology.
Characterised by Abu Dhabi in organising IDEX and hosting eleven previous sessions which have contributed to supporting local companies specialised in the field of military defence, to develop and strengthen their competitiveness in the global arena, and consolidate the status of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the exhibition industry on a global scale, especially in the light of its success in establishing investments in defensive strategy in manufacturing and advanced technology, in line with the quest to diversify its economy according to the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision, and to highlight the state's name on the map of leading defence industries, adding significant value to the various industrial sectors in the state.