One of the world’s largest defence fairs has opened in Abu Dhabi.
About 130,000 visitors from 65 countries are expected to attend the five-day International Defence Exhibition (Idex), an increase of 209 per cent from last year.
Now in its 30th year, the event is expected to be attended by about 1,350 companies, 350 delegations and scores of military personnel, officials and decision-makers.
By 9am on Monday, the first day, attendees were inspecting rows of armoured vehicles, drones, guided missiles and the latest defence technology and systems.
The UAE has the largest pavilion this year and the country’s defence conglomerate, Edge, has a line-up of 11 new unmanned and autonomous products and systems.
They include unmanned aerial combat vehicles and logistic support and air traffic management systems.
The move comes as the UAE ramps up its “Operation 300bn strategy”, which seeks to increase the contribution of the local industrial sector to the country’s gross domestic product to Dh300 billion ($81.68 billion) by 2031, from Dh133 billion in 2021.
Russia, which launched its invasion of Ukraine about a year ago, will also be represented at Idex.
There are also talks, displays and a dedicated start-up area for defence companies.
The event runs alongside the Naval Defence & Maritime Security Exhibition, which features naval vessels from eight countries.