Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the 16th edition of the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX 2023) and the 7th edition of the Maritime Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX 2023), organised by ADNEC Group in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence, concluded Friday.
The exhibitions, which ran from 20 to 24 February at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), saw the participation of more than 1,353 companies from around the world, and the visitor of around 132,507 visitors.
This year’s edition marked a historic achievement for the event, which is considered the most important defence exhibition in the world. The success of this year’s edition cemented the global position of IDEX & NAVDEX as the largest defence event in the world, marking another success story in the journey of the exhibition, which began nearly 30 years ago.
His Excellency Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouein (photo), Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of IDEX and NAVDEX 2023, said: “Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the largest edition of IDEX and NAVDEX concluded with wide global participation. The exhibitions’ massive turnout reflects the prestigious position of the UAE on the regional and international levels.”
His Excellency added: “We are proud of the rapid development of the national defence industry, which contributes to consolidating the position of Abu Dhabi as a destination that attracts decision-makers from all over the world, and a hub for innovation and creativity. This historic achievement would not have been possible without the great support of our wise leadership, to enhance the position and competitiveness of the two exhibitions over the past three decades.”
His Excellency thanked ADNEC Group, all the teams in the Higher Organising Committee, all sub-committees, and national institutions in the public and private sectors, who contributed to the success of this global event, saying: “IDEX and NAVDEX is an ongoing success story for the UAE and the national defence industry, and a role model for the world of which we are very proud of,” His Excellency added.
His Excellency Major General Dr. Mubarak Saeed bin Gafan Al Jabri, Vice Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of IDEX and NAVDEX, said: “Over the past five days, the UAE has been the focus of the world's attention and a destination for experts and specialists in the defence industry. The conclusion of IDEX and NAVDEX marks a new historical achievement for the UAE. The current edition witnessed an increase in the number of participants, exhibitors, and visitors, as well as the number of partnerships and the volume of deals announced at this global event, in addition to record participation by leaders and decision-makers, as the number of participating official delegations exceeded 367 delegations from all around the world.”
His Excellency said: “The success story of the two exhibitions goes beyond the record numbers of visitors and participants, to highlight the UAE’s excellence in defence and the qualitative leaps of the sector over the past three decades. It also shows the UAE's continuous endeavours to source the latest technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and employ them in the service of humanity, as well as maintain international peace and security.”
His Excellency added: “The two exhibitions contributed to the transfer and localisation of advanced knowledge in the country, and strengthening capabilities of national human resources. This was also evident through the panels and workshops that were held during the two exhibitions and the International Defence Conference, which attracted more than 1,800 participants from all over the world. Aside from this, the Worthiness & Safety Conference, which was held for the first time on the sidelines of the two exhibitions, witnessed wide-scale participation by decision-makers and industry experts.”
“I would like to extend my sincerest thanks and appreciation to our wise leadership for their continuous support to ensure the success of this international event, and to all our partners in national and international institutions. We look forward to achieving more successes during future editions through the cooperation and deliberate efforts of all partners, to consolidate the leading position of IDEX and NAVDEX,” His Excellency concluded.
His Excellency Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and CEO of ADNEC Group, said: “Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and organised by ADNEC Group in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence, this year's edition of IDEX and NAVDEX was a success by all standards. The high level of participation in this edition coincides with the 30th anniversary of IDEX, which was launched in 1993, reinforcing IDEX and NAVDEX as the largest events in the defence industry on the global level. This year, the number of exhibiting companies increased to reach 1,353 companies from 65 countries. The event, which covers an area of more than 165,000 square metres, welcomed 41 country pavilions.”
His Excellency said: “The current edition of IDEX and NAVDEX reflects the significant growth of the national defence sector, where the number of national companies increased to 216 exhibiting companies, with a growth rate of 50% compared to the previous edition. Aside from this, the UAE pavilion was the largest among the exhibiting pavilions with a total area of more than 23,700 square metres, marking a growth rate of 16% compared to the previous edition.
Over five days, IDEX and NAVDEX witnessed the announcement of many deals and strategic partnership agreements between major national and international companies, which demonstrates its role in supporting national industries, transferring and localising knowledge, and contributing to the promotion of local products in new markets.”
Al Dhaheri continued: “The new initiatives held as part of IDEX and NAVDEX garnered praise by participants and specialists from all over the world. The Startups Platform, in which 83 companies from 25 countries participated, witnessed a high turnout by experts, who were interested in finding out about the most prominent innovations in the defence industry.
“On Thursday, we announced the winners of the IDEX Next Gen Innovation Championship, in which 34 companies from 25 countries competed by presenting their most prominent global innovations to the panel of judges. The other initiatives, including the IDEX & NAVDEX Talks and the IDEX Think Tank, attracted many international experts, who discussed the current state of the defence industry and ways to advance it.”
“ADNEC Group is committed to networking with all its partners to identify their needs to be able to deliver services and events that exceed their expectations. For IDEX and NAVDEX, we collaborated with one of the most prominent specialised companies to gauge the happiness and satisfaction of visitors and exhibitors in the current edition of the event. We were pleased with the results which recorded 98% for visitor satisfaction and happiness, the highest percentage in the exhibition industry globally, compared to 96% in the previous edition,” His Excellency added.
“The exceptional success that we witnessed in the current edition serves as an incentive for us to put more effort and build upon our achievement to be able to launch more successful events in the future, which reflect the strong reputation of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. The secret of the success of IDEX and NAVDEX is the unlimited support of our wise leadership, as well as our partners in the Higher Organising Committee of the two exhibitions, the Ministry of Defence, Tawazun Council and EDGE. I am confident that in the next edition of the exhibition, we will continue our journey of success which has lasted for 3 decades,” His Excellency concluded.
This year, the International Defense Conference (IDC) attracted more than 1,800 participants, with a growth rate of more than 25% compared to the previous session. The Conference included four panel sessions, which covered the social and economic impacts and risks of widespread adoption of new technologies, talent development and human capital management, the impact of emerging technologies on modern defence operations, and the latest technology trends. The Conference saw the participation of more than 17 speakers, including leaders, ministers, and senior officials in the defence sector from across the world.
This year’s edition witnessed features and initiatives that were held for the first time, which contributed to strengthening the position of the world's most prominent event in the defence industry. In addition, nine new countries participated in the exhibition for the first time, which include, Uzbekistan, Ireland, Nigeria, Montenegro, Kuwait, Lithuania, Bangladesh, and Monaco.
Hall 13, with a total area of more than 2,200 square metres, was added to host new exhibitors this year. An additional hall that includes a dedicated startup area was also launched, with an area of more than 1,500 square metres to host more than 83 startups from 25 countries around the world, providing them with the opportunity to showcase their most prominent technologies and products. The event also saw the launch the IDEX & NAVDEX Talks, which attracted senior decision-makers in the government and private sectors, as well as the launch of the IDEX Think Tank program for the first time, which included closed sessions for experts and industry professionals.
The current edition of NAVDEX witnessed the participation of a number of naval vessels from eight countries, which include, Pakistan, Bahrain, Britain, Italy, China, Kuwait, India, and the United Arab Emirates. These vessels were on display at ADNEC Port and Zayed Port, which featured a range of marine vessels participating in the exhibition.
The Grandstand area at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and the Water Canal area of ADNEC Marina saw many live demos of the latest equipment and defence vehicles, some of which were on display for the first time, demonstrating the capabilities of vehicles and marine vessels used across various domains.
For the first time in the event’s history, the two exhibitions included an Exhibition Overview, which provided visitors with insights into new and improved features of the exhibitions and introduced them to the most inspiring speakers and the latest updates on exhibitors. The Innovation Journey presented a selection of innovative products on display, making it easier for visitors to identify the best products among thousands of innovations displayed at the two exhibitions.