Thirty-four South African defence industry companies will line up alongside more than 1 100 others in Abu Dhabi come Sunday for this year’s International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in the United Arab Emirates.
Leading the charge will be State-owned defence conglomerate Denel which will be exhibiting missiles, UAVs and other developments around its range of products. Paramount Group, South Africa’s largest privately owned defence industry player, will also be at IDEX although the word is it won’t be the same exposure level as two years ago.
All told, according to the exhibition website, IDEX will host 1 127 exhibitors for the show which opens on Sunday and runs through to next Thursday (February 26).
IDEX has more than 35 000 square metres of covered exhibition space in 12 halls complemented by outdoor space, a naval defence and maritime security exhibition (NAVDEX) and a specialist exhibition for UAVs – UMEX (Unmanned Systems Exhibition).
Live demonstrations are, as always, an integral part of IDEX and daily displays on water and a purpose-built demonstration track give exhibitors the opportunity to show equipment at work.
Armscor, the government defence and security acquisition agency, is also exhibiting as is the South African Department of Trade and Industry, in its role as a facilitator for the local defence industry. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will also be at IDEX to showcase the capabilities of its defence, peace, safety and security division (DPSS).
Other South African defence industry companies at IDEX 2015 include Ripple Effect, Reutech, GEW Technologies, Imperial Armour, Poynting Antenna, Fuchs Electronics, Megaray, Desert World Consulting and the Incomar Group.
In a welcome message IDEX chief executive, Saleh Almarzooqi, said the exhibition had grown into one of the world’s leading joint defence exhibitions and “certainly the largest in the Middle East and Africa”.
“Drawing on over twenty years of experience, IDEX is widely recognised as the foremost showcase of the very latest technology, insight and innovation that currently defines the modern defence industry.
“This is in large part due to the introduction of NAVDEX in 2011 – the region’s largest maritime defence exhibition but also as a result of the unwavering support and enthusiasm received from exhibitors and visitors year after year.
“From the opportunity to engage with industry leaders at the highest level, to showcasing products and services to an international audience, having a presence at IDEX 2015 is simply a must for individuals, companies and governments who operate in this space,” he said.
Exhibitor numbers for this year are slightly up on the 2013 event which saw 150 official delegations and 80 000 visitors from 143 countries enter the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, again the venue for this year’s IDEX.