Wide number of international speakers set to participate at International Defence Conference

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Over 26 global industry leaders, specialists, and experts will attend the International Defence Conference 2021, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, on 20 February. The event, held as hybrid event for the first time in its history, will be held both at the ADNEC Business Center, as well as virtually through global platforms. Participants will discuss the Prosperity and Development of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology and the Protection in the Era of the 4IR. 

The Conference is organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) and the Tawazun Economic Council (Tawazun), in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence and the General Command of the Armed Forces of the UAE. The conference will run on 20 February from 8:00am to 14:00pm. The globally leading defence exhibitions, IDEX 2021 and NAVDEX 2021, will open the following day and run from 21 – 25 February at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The Conference will open with a speech by His Excellency Mohammed Bin Ahmad Al Bawardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs in the UAE. His Excellency will highlight how the UAE plays a key role in advancing the global defence sector. Four main sessions will follow, which both local and international experts will participate in. Prominent speakers include His Excellency Suhail Bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, His Excellency Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, and His Excellency Eng. Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Al Ohali, Governor of the General Authority for Military Industries, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The first session, held under the title ‘Exploring innovative opportunities in supply-chain ecosystem management beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic’, will welcome His Excellency Suhail Bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, His Excellency Eng. Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Al Ohali, Helmut Rauch, CEO & President of Diehl Defence, and Tim Cahill, Senior Vice President at Lockheed Martin International. This session will be moderated by Badr Al-Olama, Executive Director – Aerospace, Mubadala Investment Company. 

The second session, held under the title ‘Protecting AI and other 4IR technologies in the age of collaboration and diffusion’, will be attended by His Excellency Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama; Micael Johansson, Chief Executive Officer at Saab Group; Heidi Grant, Director of the Defence Security Cooperation Agency in the United States of America, and Eric Papin, Executive VP Technical and Innovation Officer, Naval Group. 

As for the third session, it will be held under the title ‘Strengthening the Defence industries R&D in an increasingly dynamic global context’. Participants on this session will include: His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and Managing Director of EDGE; His Excellency Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani, CEO of the Tawazun Economic Council; Dr. Uzi Rubin, Senior Researcher at the Jerusalem Institute of Strategy and Security; Kim, Yoon Seok, Deputy Minister Office of Military Force and Resource Management in South Korea; and Lieutenant General (rtd) Theodoros LAGIOS HAF, General Director of General Directorate for Defence Investments and Armaments (GDDIA). This session will be moderated by Dr. Noah Raford, Chief of Global Affairs, Dubai Future Foundation. 

The Conference concludes with the fourth session entitled ‘A holistic view on Cyber Security Resiliency during the era of Digital Transformation.’ Speaking at the session will be: His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the UAE Government, and Vice Admiral Dinesh Kumar Tripathi, AVSM, NM, Director General Naval Operations. This session will be moderated by Dr. Bushra Al Blooshi, Head of Research and Innovation at the Dubai Electronic Security Centre. The closing remarks of the International Defence Conference will be delivered by Dr. Yehya Al Marzouqi, Vice Chairman of the Conference Organising Committee, and Advisor to the CEO’s Office at Tawazun Economic Council. 

Commenting on the upcoming edition of the Conference, Brigadier General Eng. Khalifa Ali Al Kaabi, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the International Defence Conference 2021, said: “We are proud to welcome global leaders in the defence industry to Abu Dhabi. They will take part in this pioneering event that will emphasise how co-operation and collaboration are critical in facing ongoing technological challenges. Through these sessions, participants will be able to discuss developments across defence, security, and technology, looking to strengthen defence systems and infrastructure. In short, this conference enables the global sector to adopt the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Al Kaabi added: “This conference will be organised during the recovery phase from COVID-19. It shall mark the beginning of new growth opportunities for the wider sector, as we look to the future. Through discussing these pressing global issues and challenges, companies and entities can develop new opportunities, take critical decisions to support governments, and promote the national economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Saeed Bin Khadim Al Mansoori, Executive Director at Capital Events, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company, commented: “At ADNEC, we look to transfer and localise knowledge in the UAE through attracting global expertise. The International Defence Conference brings together participants and experts from these vital sectors, enabling them to meet and do business. Such events demonstrate why Abu Dhabi is the regional capital of the business tourism sector.

“Our nation has earned the confidence of the international community as a safe global destination. We have proactively handled the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to contain the risk of its spread. Now, the UAE is ready to host the world, once again. As we look to welcome delegates from across the globe, ADNEC will implement a wide range of measures which ensure that conference participants and delegates remain safe, following leading international standards.”

Both ADNEC and the organising committees of IDEX and NAVDEX exhibitions and the International Defence Conference continue to coordinate with the UAE’s authorities in implementing the highest standard of safety measures for all. All attending IDEX, NAVDEX, and the IDC will be required to have a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before entering either the conference or the exhibitions. In addition, social distancing measures and the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) is being mandated across exhibitions and conference facilities.

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