The International Defence Exhibition Organising Committee (IDEX) and Maritime Defence (NAVDEX) 2021 have announced the end of its 15th edition in Abu Dhabi. It was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) under the patronage of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, and lasted five days from 21-25 February.
The 2021 session, which was well attended locally and internationally, by IDEX and NAVDEX closes with historic agreements in an extraordinary session, according to the closing communiqué of the two exhibitions.
The exhibition has received remarkable success in attendance, becoming the first global event specialising in the defence sector to open during the revival of COVID-19. It was attended by more than 62,000 visitors and attracted 900 exhibitors from 59 countries. The number of national pavilions increased to 35 and Israel, North Macedonia, Luxembourg, Portugal and Azerbaijan participated for the first time in the history of the exhibition.
AED 20.957bn ($5.7bn) worth of deals were signed by the UAE Armed Forces during IDEX and NAVDEX 2021. Five deals with international companies and 15 with local companies were inked on the final day of the exhibitions, at a value of AED 904.2m ($246.2m).
Commenting on the conclusion of the exhibitions, Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee, said: “The 15th edition of the IDEX and NAVDEX exhibitions has been nothing short of exceptional. These events continue to strengthen their global position, providing exhibitors and participants from around the world with an integrated global platform, in spite of the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. IDEX and NAVDEX drive and enable innovation, in line with the rapid development of the fourth industrial revolution.
“The success of these exhibitions has been rooted in the stalwart and visionary support of our wise leadership. Their confidence in our ability to host the world, here in Abu Dhabi, has been critical to the wider realisation of this edition.
“This marks a new chapter in pre-eminence. 2021 is the Golden Jubilee Year of the foundation of the United Arab Emirates. That union has enabled our nation to cultivate and expand our defence infrastructure and technological systems, using them to ensure security and peace across the Middle East.
“The foremost achievement of this edition of the exhibitions was the stringent and rigorous implementation of all precautionary measures across ADNEC, preserving the health and safety of all participants, exhibitors, and visitors. IDEX and NAVDEX 2021 enabled the return of the national business tourism sector, alongside continuing to support the UAE’s defence industry. These exhibitions ensure that UAE products are globally competitively, both meeting the needs of the nation alongside reaching new markets.”
He concluded: “The contributions of a range of stakeholders to enable the success of this event have been immense. Media professionals, organisers, strategic partners, and subcommittees have each played a significant role in bringing this event to life. Finally, we must recognise the contribution of frontline workers, who were at the event for each moment. Their efforts ensured the safety of all attendees, in line with the vision of the government of the UAE.”
Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Al Balushi, Head of the Executive Directorate of Industries and Development of Defense Capabilities at the Ministry of Defense, and Vice Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee for IDEX and NAVDEX, commented: “The UAE has once again demonstrated its global leadership in hosting and organising international and strategic events. These events indicate renewed confidence and optimism as the UAE charts a new course for post-pandemic recovery.
“Our nation’s wise leadership, having extensively examined a range of analyses, decided to host the 15th Edition. To adhere to this decision, given the exceptional global circumstances, we implemented a strategic direction different from previous editions of the exhibition, with a refreshed set of standards.
“Hosting over 110 international delegations, comprised of decision-makers, investors, and senior executives demonstrates the confidence of the global community in the United Arab Emirates. Furthermore, it exhibits how defence remains an internationally critical sector, and how the industry is strengthened by strategic partnerships and deal signings that shape the industry’s future.
“2021 has seen the UAE Armed Forces sign the highest value of deals during the exhibitions’ histories. The brokerage of such agreements plays a pivotal role in devising and implementing long-term security and defence strategies, and ensuring the adoption of optimal solutions to face future challenges, given the fourth industrial revolution.”
Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, added: “Today brings an end to an edition which was described as one of the most successful global events organised in the post-pandemic phase by participants, exhibitors, and visitors alike. In organising these two exhibitions, we have met and exceeded the aspirations of all attending this edition.
“96% of visitors and exhibitors to IDEX and NAVDEX were satisfied with the exhibition, which is considered one of the highest rates in the global exhibition and conference sector. The wide range of precautionary protocols which ADNEC rigorously implemented across its infrastructure also met the approval of those visiting IDEX and NAVDEX, as well as specialists in the exhibition and conference sector.
“During the first four days of the exhibitions, 98% of participants and visitors shared that they were satisfied with the preventative and precautionary measures implemented, while 99% of participants stated they felt safe inside ADNEC. Doubtlessly, these figures demonstrate the accomplishment of this year of IDEX and NAVDEX. Lessons learnt here will support the wider resurgence of the business tourism sector, both at a local and international level.
“Across the five days, IDEX and NAVDEX attracted 62,445 visitors from across the world. Such numbers demonstrate how exhibitors focus on specialised international events. It is a source of deep pride that we have been able to welcome the world, once again.”