Defence IDEX and Maritime NAVDEX 2021 and the International Defence Conference are being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, “may God protect him”, between 21 and 25 February 2021, in order to build these exhibitions on the achievements made during the past two decades, which were culminated in classifying EDGE, the advanced technology conglomerate of the defence sector and other fields, high in the list of the top 25 military supply companies in the world, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The exhibition also aims to shed light on the latest developments in advanced-technology – defence industry sector, global advanced and innovative equipment, and to benefit from them to continue tireless and continuous efforts to develop the national defence industry sector in the UAE, and to forge strategic partnerships with major international defence companies.
The UAE’s interest in organizing the exhibition reflects the continuation of its rational approach, which seeks to enhance UAE’s security and achieve self-sufficiency, by encouraging Emirati national industries, in light of the turbulent security environment in the Middle East region. By encouraging the establishment of defence exhibitions and strengthening national military industries, the UAE has been able to achieve economic profits that serve the national economy of the United Arab Emirates, and achieve the desired economic goals of the wise leadership by diversifying the resources of national economy, and getting rid of dependence on exporting oil only. Thus, the UAE was one of the few countries that succeeded in transforming defence spending from a burden on the state budget to an additional resource that enhances the growth of its national economy.
The UAE, through its organization of defence exhibitions, and the many gains it harvested from them, provided a model for other Arab countries to follow. This is evidenced by the Kingdom of Bahrain’s emulation of the Emirati experience by holding the Bahrain International Defence Exhibition and Conference (BADC) in October 2017, and the organization of Egypt of the “Egyptian Defence Exhibition” “EDEX” in December 2018.
It is noted that the two exhibitions will be held on schedule without any change, with the participation of a wide range of companies and foreign delegations alike, which reflects the state’s insistence on continuing efforts to quickly restore normal life during the recovery phase from Corona. The wide participation of these companies and those delegations reflects the status and the pivotal role that IDEX and NAVDEX play in the specialized defence exhibition sector at the regional and international levels, in addition to confidence in the country’s organizational capabilities and health capabilities, at this stage, during which many countries of the world are still taking comprehensive lockdown measures to confront the pandemic.
In conclusion, IDEX and NAVDEX continue their desired role in strengthening the UAE’s position on the global defence industry map, and in enhancing confidence in the UAE’s preventive and health measures, and confirming the credibility of international reports that confirm that the UAE economy will be one of the first economies to recover from the pandemic Corona during 2021.