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IDEX 2001 concludes with optimistic note

posted on 24/03/2001: 1912 views

The Fifth International Defence Exhibition and Conference IDEX 2001 concluded last Thursday with optimistic note that the 2003 session would inject more fuel to the local economy growth machine and give energetic momentum and push to the country's position in the global exhibition industry.

Held biennially at the Abu Dhabi International Exhibition Centre by the General Exhibition Corporation (GEC), the five-day show was opened by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in the presence of King Abdullah bin Al Hussein of Jordan as the chief guest.

The show was honoured by the tour of the President, H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, who expressed his delight at the high level of progress made by the local industry. As a premier defence show in the region, IDEX gives insights into the defence industry's innovations and solutions for the new millennium. It has been growing from strength to strength, as the world's most important defence show.

The exhibition brings the decision-makers from around the world into direct contact with solutions providers, giving the former every conceivable means to make accurate assessment and the latter every opportunity to display their wares. Area of this year's exhibition has increased by 25 per cent over the previous show to 14,000 square metres of indoor space and 12,000 square metres of outdoor area. . A total of 860 defence manufacturers from 42 countries across the world, notably from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and Germany, displayed their latest military and defence technology and products at the Middle East's largest arms show.

With 33 national pavilions, the largest indoor participants were the US, Germany and France, while Switzerland and France occupy the largest outdoor area. The UK has the largest presence in terms of companies. Brazil, Ireland, Slovenia and Kazakhstan made their first debut in the show. King Abdulla Design and Development Bureau, KADDB, of Jordan was the largest Arab outdoor exhibitor, while Al Masoud Group was the largest exhibitor from the UAE. ' The expansion and such a large number of participants are evidence that IDEX enjoys growing significance and a prominent international status,' the organiser said. Live demonstrations by marine units took place in the artificial canal adjacent to the main show site, which also incorporates a 100,000 square metres area for mobility demonstrations by wheeled and tracked vehicles.

The marine show was staged at a dedicated naval berthing area for major vessels at Mina Zayed. Organised for the first time by the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research and the Jane's Information Group, the Gulf Defence Conference, on the sidelines of the IDEX, was focused on potential threats to the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries, weapons of mass destruction, the military capabilities of Iran and Iraq and their impact on the GCC security, the role of western forces in the region and the GCC Armed Forces' role in protecting their countries. IDEX has been an ideal scene for conclusion of contracts and deals.

Among the most important deals, the UAE Armed Forces signed new contracts with local and foreign companies for supply of military training systems and equipment, maintenance and upgrading services and technical assistance. The biggest one was US$140 million contract with EADS CASA for the purchase of four maritime patrol aircrafts. Other deals were signed during the event between the exhibitors and other foreign parties. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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