Defence show IDEX 2011 begins in Abu Dhabi

`ABU DHABI: Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated the 10th International Defence Exhibition and Conference IDEX 2011 here on Sunday.General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces were also present.Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum shared that Abu Dhabi’s International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) is gaining prominence and wider acclaim among the countries and companies producing weapons and defence equipments as the event provide them with a window, through which they look at the markets in the region.He was of the view that the exhibition also represented a platform for the local, regional as well as international arms manufacturers to showcase their latest products and defence technologies.He said the exhibition would allow the countries of the region, the Middle East and North Africa the opportunity to view these modern defence products and procure them through commercial transactions taking place in the exhibition every year.“We in the UAE do not look at IDEX or Dubai Airshow as two platforms for arms race in the region, as some claim, but see them purely in terms of trade, tourism and technology, because of the diversity in attendance and participation in these events, which have gained international fame and earned great confidence among the exhibitors and consumers,” he added.He said this makes the United Arab Emirates a meeting place for people of different races and a gateway between east and west, not to mention the experience and knowledge which the men of their armed forces and police gain through mixing with the experts who arrive from all over the world.Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is confident that IDEX 2011 will see a large turnout and the increase in the proportion of exhibitors and visitors because it brings with it all that is new in the world of defence industries and military equipment.Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is of the opinion that IDEX has achieved high momentum, development and the volume of demand from countries, companies, factories and individuals demonstrate its success, strength and quality and positions itself as an event of economic and tourism importance as well as creates an opportunity for cross-cultural understanding.

The visitors get a chance to see the cultural expressions of the country, its Arab and Islamic traditions and customs.“We in the UAE, both the people and the leaders, are proud of the reputable status of our country and its well established position on the regional and international levels. We are also proud of our young people as well as their competencies and expertise in various sectors that make them worthy of our confidence as leaders and are able to assume their responsibilities in business leadership and the tasks entrusted to them,” he added.The IDEX 2011 is being showcased under the kind patronage of the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from February 20-24.The grand opening ceremony of IDEX 2011 was attended by a high-profile officials, foreign delegations and ministers.Large number of senior civilian and military officials along with 66 defence ministers, 64 chiefs of staff, top commanders as well as VIP guests, dignitaries, diplomats and leaders of the world defence industry attended the opening ceremony.For the first time since IDEX’s inception in 1993, exhibitor numbers have gone past the 1,000 mark, recording 18.2 per cent growth over IDEX in 2009 to reach 1,060 exhibitors – APP