IDEX reflects interest of UAE leaders to adopt strategic plans: Al Hashimi

By Muhammad Aamir ABU DHABI, 21st February, 2015 (WAM) — The notable success that the UAE has achieved in organizing the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) for more than two decades reflects a lot of aspects, including its success in maintaining the growth, strength, durability, and diversity of the UAE economy, thanks to the guidance and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. This success is also a practical translation of the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, a top official at the UAE Ministry of Defence said on Saturday.

“It also reflects the interest of the UAE leaders in adopting strategic plans, which emphasize investment in human resources and cognitive abilities and future vision,” Staff Major General Pilot Abdullah Al Hashimi, Executive Director Strategic Analysis, UAE Ministry of Defence, has said, referring to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed – inspired by the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – in which he emphasized that the future of the country is not based on oil, but young people receiving education. And this is what is being established in the Emirates for quite some time.

In his welcome speech at the IDEX Defence conference held here at the Armed Forces Officers Club, he said that the twelfth edition of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX 2015, organized under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, is the only international defence exhibition in the Middle East and North African region hosted by Abu Dhabi since 1993.

Staff Lt. General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, was the guest of honour at the conference which was also attended by Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology UK, Lt. General Rainer Korff, Deputy Commander of the German Army, Rear Admiral Giogrio Lazio, Italian Navy, Chief of Staff, Allied Maritime Command, Rear Admiral Antoine Beaussant, Joint Commander of the French Forces in the UAE and other senior UAE and Allied Forces officials, diplomats and defence industry representatives.

Also present were Homaid Al Shemmari, CEO, Mubadala Aerospace and Engineering Services, Chairman of the Board, Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC), and Luc Vigneron, CEO, Emirates Defence Industries Company.

Major General Al Hashimi said that IDEX has strategic importance as it opens channels of communication and facilitates the exchange of civil and technical expertise between government departments, institutions, private companies and armed forces in various countries around the world, a goal which this edition of IDEX aims to achieve and continue with increasing success into the future.

“Today, the opening of this edition of “IDEX is proof of the continuing and steady success of this initiative,” he added.

During the past 22 years, the number of exhibitors has increased by more than 200 percent – from 350 exhibiting companies in 1993 to about 1,200 companies today. The proportion of international representation at the exhibition also increased during the same period by 129 percent, from 24 countries up to 55 countries. The percentage of the attendance increased by 130 percent, as the number of attendees at the last edition of IDEX reached about 80,000 visitors. As for the value of deals this year, we are expecting it to exceed the value achieved in the last edition of the exhibition, which amounted to 14.1 billion dirhams across 55 transactions.

“This notable success that the UAE has achieved in organizing IDEX Exhibitions and Conferences for more than two decades also reflects a lot of implications, including: maintaining the growth, strength, durability, and diversity of the UAE economy, strong procedures and regulations to meet sustainable development requirements and the economy’s ability to absorb foreign investments, through hosting such a large amount of global giants companies. Also, the continuous development of infrastructure, including roads, airports, ports and communication networks and the ability to provide skilled human resources,” according to Al Hashimi.

“It should also denote that the success of Abu Dhabi in organizing 12 editions of IDEX was one of the main factors that both directly and indirectly supported Abu Dhabi in hosting the first permanent headquarters of an international agency in the Middle East – the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).” “This has also supported the UAE in winning the organization of “Expo 2020″ in Dubai, as well as hosting and organizing the Naval Defence Exhibition and Conference, NAVDEX,” he added.

In addition, IDEX is hosting the first Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Conference or UMEX, where the latest unmanned systems technology will be showcased, particularly unmanned aircraft. This first edition of UMEX will provide the opportunity to several unmanned systems companies and producers to showcase and promote their products and innovations in the field of defence, establish business relationships with exhibition visitors, and explain all the aantages of unmanned systems.

He said that in this context, it should also be noted that hosting this first international event of UMEX, reflects an interest in understanding the features of a new and modern era of air, land and sea defence systems. “This has prompted about 33 local and global leading companies to participate in UMEX, including Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investment Company, INSITU, a subsidiary of the Boeing Company, Denel and Shenzhen and other leading companies.” This reflects the growing regional role of the United Arab Emirates, and the strategic importance of its armed forces in dealing with the latest defence technologies, he pointed out.

“The organization of this exhibition and its steady success is a testament to the implementation and activation of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, as we witness the outstanding skills and technical knowledge of national human resources which inspired Dr. Hans Rosling to predict, during the government summit held recently in Dubai, that the UAE will be the centre of the world in 2100. It is worth mentioning that all government institutions and departments, including the Ministry of Defence, are working towards this, as it has adopted future visions and developed long-term strategic plans with the strategic goal of ensuring the diversity and flexibility of the UAE economy and strengthening its ability to absorb crises and achieve sustainable growth.” In his concluding remarks, he quoted the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who said: “The UAE does not look at the Abu Dhabi International Defence Exhibition ‘IDEX,’ or the Dubai Airshow as platforms for arming however, they are considered from a purely commercial, touristic, and technical perspective, to showcase the latest military technologies of defensive weapons for the protection of the land and natural resources.”