ABU DHABI — A number of high-ranking UAE military officials have spoken about their expectations of the upcoming International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) and the naval defence and maritime security exhibition (NAVDEX), saying the exhibition has already attracted a large volume of international interest in participation, reflecting the international community’s confidence in the precautionary measures taken by UAE authorities to ensure the safety of visitors amid the pandemic.
In a statement to Al Jundi Journal (monthly military magazine published by UAE Ministry of Defence) on the occasion of the 15th edition of IDEX and the 6th of NAVDEX 2021, which opens at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from the 21st- 25th of February, Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bawardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, noted that the UAE‘s prestigious stature worldwide and the role it plays in supporting the defence industry sector locally, regionally, and internationally has made it a niche for minds, defence specialists and experts, and military leaders.
Al Bowardi said that IDEX and NAVDEX contribute to bolstering national economic development and supporting defence industries, adding that exhibition is an opportunity to analyse and discuss the most important issues, challenges, and trends in technology, AI, and technologies of the 4IR.
“The exhibition also contributes to firming the global security and stability efforts in addition to building a system of international cooperation to ensure the continuity of this critical sector despite global challenges and international changes that the whole world is witnessing today,” he said.
He went on to note that this year, the event comes at a time when the international community is witnessing exceptional global conditions due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and “as governments’ efforts are focused on managing the crisis, preventing the spread of the virus, and addressing its repercussions.”
However, Al Bowardi added, the “UAE has been able to overcome such challenges and to harness all modern technological capabilities and means to efficiently manage the national competencies and to apply the highest global health and safety standards to ensure the health, security, and safety of the society.”
Moreover, highlighting the importance of this year’s event, Lt. General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, told Al Jundi that the event represents one of the most important defence exhibitions in the world, attracting international companies to participate in annually to display their latest technology and defence industry products.
“The large volume of international participation in the activities of this 15th International Defence Exhibition and Conference “IDEX and NAVDEX 2021” reflects the great confidence in the efficiency of the precautionary and preventive measures taken by the concerned authorities to ensure the safety of the visitors of the exhibition, and confirms the distinguished position that the UAE has reached in the global defence exhibitions industry.”
For his part, Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and Managing Director of EDGE, the UAE’s advanced technology group for defence and beyond, said that the group is keen to highlight its independent integrated capabilities through its participation in IDEX and NAVDEX 2021.
In his message to the journal, Al Bannai said, “This participation will be the first of its kind for the group as a unified entity… We are proud to share that EDGE is launching more than 20 products and exhibiting over 50 core capabilities across our Platforms & Systems, Missiles & Weapons, Cyber Defence, Electronic Warfare & Intelligence and Mission Support business clusters.
“Since the inauguration in November 2019, we have been able to leverage greater synergies between our subsidiary companies, better focus collaborative R&D investments in advanced technologies, upgrade our capabilities more consistently, and progress at a speed that meets the needs of the fast-evolving market.
“The digital era has brought with it new opportunities and challenges, and EDGE is at the frontiers in leveraging its research and capabilities to contribute to shaping a more agile, bold, and disruptive advanced technology- focused defence sector.”
“This will be our first participation as a consolidated entity at IDEX and NAVDEX, and we welcome the opportunity to engage with stakeholders – sharing industry insights, best practices, and experiences,” he added.