RIYADH: Following the successful inaugural edition last year that witnessed SR29.7 billion ($7.916 million) worth of deals being signed during the four-day event, the World Defense Show is set to return next year in Riyadh amid the Kingdom’s push to localize 50 percent of its military equipment spending by 2030.
The General Authority for Military Industries on Tuesday confirmed that the second edition of the defense show will be held on Feb. 4-8, 2024, with an aim to provide an ideal platform to exchange knowledge and technology for local and international firms.
The inaugural exhibition attracted 600 exhibitors, over 100 military delegations, and 85 participating countries and saw an attendance of more than 65,000 visitors overall.
Such is the popularity of the event, the venue has been expanded to accommodate an additional 9,000 sq. m in exhibitor space, according to Andrew Pearcey, CEO of the World Defense Exhibition.
“We have big ambitions for 2024, and our team is working tirelessly to deliver a truly fantastic show once again, with strategically crafted networking programs set to feature delegations, governments, global defense industry original equipment manufacturers, and investors,” he said, adding: “Since the resounding success of the sold out inaugural World Defense Show in 2022, we have really been humbled and so very pleased with the overwhelming interest from exhibitors and new defense ecosystem constituents keen to participate.”
The leading industry event will showcase the most advanced technologies in the defense and security industries and encourage the Kingdom’s localization efforts and support the strategic goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 blueprint, it said in a press release.
Announcing the event, GAMI Governor Ahmad bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali acknowledged the roles of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in offering their unwavering support in bolstering the defense sector and achieving the Kingdom’s strategic independence.
“The exhibition will provide an ideal environment to exchange knowledge on successful international and local experiences while introducing the latest technologies and innovations used in the field,” said Al-Ohali in a press statement.
He pointed out that the key aim of the event will be to strengthen the Kingdom’s international partnerships and create major new investment opportunities.
Saudi Arabia had earlier announced its plans to invest more than $20 billion in its domestic military industry over the next decade as part of aggressive plans to boost local military spending.
This throws open investment opportunities for all manufacturers and international service providers who share the Kingdom’s vision of supporting technology transfer, talent development, and the localization of the industry.