With more than 200 companies from Arab Nations confirmed to exhibit at this year’s International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) and Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX), the evolving nature of the region’s defence industry which is moving from buyer to supplier, is being highlighted.
Representing Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, some of the companies exhibiting at this year’s show include:
• In Aerospace: Griffon Aerospace, TLD Group, NP Aerospace and Hawker Pacific, offering aerospace vehicle manufacture, ground support, personal protection and aviation sales.
• In Land Defence: Jordan Light Vehicle Manufacturing exhibiting its range of light combat and transport vehicles. Headline sponsors of IDEX, Tawazun Holding, a government-owned company designed to diversify the national economy into a wide range of industrial and commercial ventures, and its related subsidiaries such as Caracal International, and Tawazun Advanced Defence Systems.
• In Naval Defence: Abu Dhabi Ship Building a world-class ship builder, specialising in the construction, repair, refit, and upgrade of naval, military and commercial vessels, Abu Dhabi Mar specialising in the building and refitting of yachts, Stellar Composites specialising in consumer and defence vessels, and Ocean Power International, suppliers of Thordon Bearings.
Commenting on the regional presence at this year’s show, Mohamed Al Mashgouni, IDEX 2011 Show Director, said: “We are seeing an emerging role for Arab nations in the defence sector; while this region is still investing heavily on importing technologies, the manufacturing and supply capabilities in the region, have also ramped up in the last few years. In line with this, nearly 10 percent of our exhibitors at this edition are from the region - providing a strong backdrop for this year’s show. Exhibitors from the Arab world, will therefore definitely, be among the ones to watch this year”.
IDEX is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, from 20th – 24th February 2011. It is organised by ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company) in association with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ.
Although supply capabilities have increased, demand for products by Arab Nations from domestic and international suppliers, is still predicted to be one of the highest globally. According to recent research by Frost & Sullivan, the GCC and Jordan defence budget is expected to hit US$68Bn (Dh249 billion) in 2011, growing to around $80 billion by 2015. Overall defence spending in the Middle East is also expected to cross US$100Bn by 2015.
Strong economic growth, continuing regional security concerns and the desire to develop indigenous capabilities through the use of offset programmes are driving the demand and strong growth projections for the region in the run up to IDEX and NAVDEX 2011.