The 2nd Edition of World Defense Show kicks off on February 4th​

Under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques‭, ‬King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud‭, ‬the 2nd edition of the‭ ‬World Defense Show is set to kick off on February 4‭. ‬Under the theme‭ (‬Equipped for Tomorrow‭), ‬the event will take place in Riyadh from‭ ‬February 4‭ ‬to 8‭, ‬2024‭.‬

Organized by the General Authority for Military Industries‭, ‬this exhibition will be attended by prominent decision-makers in the‭ ‬field of defence from around the world‭, ‬showcasing the latest technologies in military manufacturing‭.‬

In its 2nd edition‭, ‬the World Defense Show‭ (‬WDS‭) ‬receives the gracious patronage of King Salman bin Abdulaziz‭, ‬reflecting Saudi‭ ‬Arabia’s leadership’s commitment to achieving global leadership in military industries and contributing to the enhancement of the defence sector’s role in the national economy‭.‬

Moreover‭, ‬this event constitutes a pivotal platform for the global defence community‭, ‬providing a comprehensive view of the latest defence technologies and promoting global discussions and collaboration‭. ‬

As the defence sector continues to evolve‭, ‬this exhibition remains a key event in shaping the future of global defence strategies and capabilities‭.‬

Designed to be one of the world’s premier defence and security expos‭, ‬the World Defense Show attracts more than 750‭ ‬exhibitors and companies from over‭ ‬‮٧٧‬‭ ‬countries‭, ‬approximately‭ ‬‮٢١٩‬‭ ‬official delegations and 100,000‭ ‬local and foreign visitors‭.‬

The exhibition spans an area of over 800,000‭ ‬square meters‭, ‬featuring exhibition halls‭, ‬hospitality suites‭, ‬buyer-seller meetings‭, ‬an aircraft runway‭, ‬a 3-kilometre airshow‭, ‬and a media centre‭.‬

The purpose of this exhibition is to strengthen the Kingdom’s position as a leading global destination in military industries by‭ ‬promoting localization and local defence manufacturing‭, ‬exchanging manufacturing expertise‭, ‬leveraging the latest technologies‭,‬‭ ‬and highlighting the advancements in military technologies‭.‬

The event will showcase the future of defence in land‭, ‬sea‭, ‬air‭, ‬space‭, ‬and information security‭, ‬featuring the latest operational compatibility systems worldwide‭, ‬along with the newest models of military aircraft‭, ‬drones‭, ‬and satellites‭.‬

The show also attracts key decision-makers in local‭, ‬regional‭, ‬and international defence fields‭, ‬including major global defence‭ ‬companies‭, ‬providing promising opportunities for strategic partnerships between global suppliers and buyers through a one-on-one‭ ‬meetings program‭ (‬B2B Connect‭).‬

Future of Defense Forum

This year’s edition features a special program to inform visitors about the latest technologies that will shape the future of defence‭, ‬the‭ ‬Future of Defense Forum‭. ‬

This program includes various events and platforms accompanying the exhibition‭.‬

The first day is dedicated to VIPs‭, ‬official delegations‭, ‬government entities‭, ‬exhibitors‭, ‬the media and the organisation of the‭ ‬Future of Defense Forum‭, ‬featuring opening ceremonies and intellectual leadership sessions with top government‭, ‬military‭, ‬and industrial officials‭, ‬who will discuss the future of the global defence sector‭.‬

This exclusive event will offer insights from prominent figures‭, ‬including Engineer Ahmed Abdulaziz Al Ohali‭, ‬Governor of the General Authority for Military Industries‭, ‬Lieutenant General Fayyad Al-Ruwaili‭, ‬Chief of the General Staff of the Saudi Armed Forces‭, ‬Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih‭, ‬and Waleed Abu Khaled‭, ‬CEO of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries‭ (‬SAMI‭). ‬They‭, ‬along with other influential speakers‭, ‬will share their perspectives on the expected defence challenges in the coming decade‭.‬

Delegations Program

Through the‭ (‬Delegations Program‭), ‬this show enables exhibitors to meet buyers and military representatives from various countries globally‭. ‬

The program‭, ‬in its upcoming edition‭, ‬is set to attract over 219‭ ‬delegations from 147‭ ‬countries‭. ‬This program‭, ‬spanning the exhibition’s days‭, ‬plays a crucial role in the Kingdom’s efforts to enhance communication between international companies and government entities‭.‬

Meet the KSA Government Program‭ ‬

The‭ (‬Meet the KSA Government Program‭) ‬is a cornerstone of WDS 2024‭, ‬providing participants with a valuable platform to understand and benefit from the growing opportunities in Saudi Arabia’s defence sector‭. ‬

This program aims to help participants understand the available opportunities in the Kingdom’s defence and security industry‭.‬

Furthermore‭, ‬it introduces exhibitors and visitors to key Saudi government entities‭, ‬enhancing awareness of procurement procedures‭, ‬investment requirements‭, ‬and strategic partnership processes in line with the overall goals of the national defence industry‭. ‬

This initiative presents a valuable opportunity for building relationships and cooperation within the Saudi defence sector‭, ‬through sessions featuring presentations by representatives from key entities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia‭, ‬such as the General Authority for Military Industries‭, ‬the Ministry of Defense‭, ‬the Ministry of Interior‭, ‬the National Cybersecurity Authority‭, ‬and others‭. ‬

This makes it a fundamental platform for those interested in understanding the Saudi defence ecosystem‭.‬

Innovative Ideas and Programs

This edition introduces several innovative ideas and programs‭, ‬including‭:‬

Future of Defense Hub‭: ‬This program is dedicated to showcasing the role of technology and exploring the possibilities of current‭ ‬and future technologies through three main activities‭: ‬a research and development platform to identify universities and centres‭ ‬shaping the future of the defence industry‭, ‬an innovation platform bringing together future leaders and startups‭, ‬and a main exhibition hall where innovators meet investors to present ideas through presentations‭.‬

Defense‭ ‬Space Arena‭: ‬This program highlights the importance of space and its impact on all aspects of security‭, ‬defence‭, ‬industry‭, ‬and‭ ‬investment in the sector‭.‬

International Women in Defense Program‭: ‬Featuring top female leaders from around the world‭, ‬this program aims to highlight women‭’‬s achievements‭, ‬discuss ongoing challenges‭, ‬and explore their contribution to the global defence and security sector‭.‬

Journey to the Future

An essential and innovative element of WDS 2024‭, ‬this program offers an immersive experience for participants by showcasing the‭ ‬most forward-looking features and reviewing the capabilities of new products‭.‬

Designed to attract visitors by providing insights into the latest trends and technologies shaping the future of the defence sector‭, ‬this program serves as a unique platform for presenting advanced solutions and highlighting releases and developments from‭ ‬leading companies‭. ‬Moreover‭, ‬it will encompass a range of exciting features‭, ‬including the Space Arena‭, ‬Future of Defense Hub‭, ‬Future Talent Program‭, ‬Content Theaters and Live Displays‭.‬

Defense Space Arena

Recognizing the increasing significance of space technologies in military capabilities and national security‭, ‬this program seeks‭ ‬to enhance international cooperation and participation among major space entities by showcasing cutting-edge space capabilities‭ ‬and technologies‭. ‬

Moreover‭, ‬the‭ ‬Defense‭ ‬Space Arena will focus on the strategic space aspirations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia‭, ‬shedding light on future opportunities for the Kingdom and its international partners in this vital and growing field‭.‬

Live and Static Displays

The show offers its visitors a unique opportunity to witness live and static displays up-close‭, ‬including air shows featuring jet and helicopter performances‭, ‬as well as military vehicle demonstrations throughout the exhibition days‭. ‬

These displays aim to highlight the various future capabilities of military operations and give exhibitors from around the world‭ ‬the opportunity to showcase future defence and security technologies‭, ‬with various live and static platforms demonstrating future defence and security technologies‭ ‬across land‭, ‬sea‭, ‬air‭, ‬and space‭.‬

Advancing Localization Efforts

The World‭ ‬Defense‭ ‬Show serves as a global meeting point for military manufacturers and buyers worldwide‭, ‬contributing to achieving the targets of‭ ‬Saudi Vision 2030‭ ‬regarding knowledge exchange and localizing more than 50%‭ ‬of its defence spending by 2030‭. ‬The exhibition provides an attractive and nurturing environment for innovators in military manufacturing‭, ‬bridging the communications gap between‭ ‬suppliers and buyers to enrich strategic partnerships in military innovations‭. ‬The World Defense Show is one of the achievements‭ ‬of the General Authority for Military Industries‭, ‬striving for global leadership in local military manufacturing‭. ‬The authority‭ ‬has rapidly progressed in localizing military technologies‭, ‬reaching a localization rate of 12%‭ ‬by the end of 2021‭ ‬and relentlessly continues its pursuit to achieve a 50%‭ ‬localization rate of military spending by 2030‭, ‬showcasing a commitment to advancing‭ ‬the country’s defence capabilities‭.


‬By‭: ‬Ikram Bendalla‭ (‬researcher specializing in military affairs‭)‬‭ ‬

Al Jundi

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