The largest integrated maritime defence gathering of the Middle East — the second Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX 2010) — began here yesterday, with military delegations from 48 countries attending.
The Heir Apparent and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani inaugurated the event with the simple press of a button opening the symbolic gates to DIMDEX 2010 at the Qatar International Exhibition Center.
The event offers a rare opportunity for leading world players in maritime industry and defence systems to meet with major decision makers and top defence officials in the Middle East and North Africa and from other regions.
“The exhibition is being organised out of a desire to bring in all the international defence related organisations to sit together and exchange expertise and knowledge about the security of the seas, international shipping routes and protection of marine resources against the various acts of piracy and illegal activities,” said Staff Brigadier (Sea) Mohammed bin Nasser Al Mohannadi, Commander of Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF).
After the inauguration, Sheikh Tamim toured the pavilions set up by defence equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and was given explanations on the items on display. Featuring an exhibition 100 percent larger than the inaugural edition, DIMDEX 2010 reflects the ongoing interest in defence and security issues around the world.
The event has by now become a focal point for defence procurement in the Middle East and North Africa region by giving participating companies the chance to show their products and expertise and has enhanced the position of Qatar as the regional hub for the defence industry and new technology.
“The show is evolving constantly with the effective participation of leading companies in the marine industry in general and maritime defence industry in particular and the number of countries,” said Major General Hamad bin Ali Al Attiyah, Chief of Staff of Qatar Armed Forces. The major highlight of the event is the Middle East Naval Commanders Conference, opening today, under the motto ‘Policy, Technology and Operations’.
The conference will discuss key factors influencing the regional maritime defence.
DIMDEX 2010 is expected to attract more than 7,000 visitors from defence industry, military and naval forces. The show features more than 150 international companies specialised in maritime defence.
Among the major names taking part in the event are ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, BrahMos Aerospace, Nexter Lockheed Martin Raytheon, Thales, Nakilat, Boeing and Raytheon.
Russian companies have entered DIMDEX for the first time.
With experts saying that market demand for maritime defence in the region is expected to reach more than $30bn in the next 20 years, DIMDEX 2010 represents an important milestone for the industry leaders and decision makers alike.