As the premier defence and security exhibition in the Middle East/ North Africa region, IDEX draws leading defence companies from the UAE and around the world to display the latest technologies and products to an audience of key decision-makers. The exhibition is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, with strategic partner EDIC, principal partner Tawazun, platinum partner ADCB and gold partner Etimad.
Running alongside IDEX is NAVDEX, the region's leading maritime defence industry exhibition. This year's event marks a continued increase in the number of exhibitors from both home and overseas, with a 20 per cent increase in exhibition area and a growing number of participating naval units. EDIC is NAVDEX's strategic partner and Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding the main partner.
As a precursor to IDEX and NAVDEX, the International Defence Conference (IDC) was held at the Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, drawing more than 1,000 defence specialists. This year's conference was combined with the Abu Dhabi International Offset Conference (ADIOC) for the first time with the aim of creating a forum for not only defence and security issues, but also the '4IR' innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
His Excellency Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, CEO of the Tawazun Economic Council, explained that the events were merged due to the common resolve of both towards developing a robust defence technological and industrial base that will serve and drive economic development in the UAE.
With the theme of 'Shaping our shared future: strengthening our security and prosperity through innovation', the combined conference explored four key focus areas: offset, security and stability, knowledge economy, and innovation and artificial intelligence (AI).
His Excellency Staff Major General Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of IDEX and NAVDEX 2019, said: "The arrival of 4IR and its advanced technologies, especially in the field of artificial intelligence, requires devising innovative strategies to utilise its high-tech capabilities in an optimal manner to ensure global stability, security and peace.
Every advance in science and technology brings with it a wealth of opportunities and challenges that need addressing - and that is the objective of IDC 2019."
The sectors discussed at the conference are much in evidence throughout IDEX and NAVDEX, where national and international exhibitors are displaying an array of innovative solutions that harness 4IR technologies such as AI.