IDEX and NAVDEX 2021 from 21st with global participation

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the Higher Organising Committee of the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX 2021) and the Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX 2021) have completed preparations for the exhibitions, to be held 21 – 25 February at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, alongside the International Defence Conference 2021 which will take place on 20th February at the ADNOC Business Centre.

IDEX and NAVDEX, and the International Defence Conference are organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense and the General Command of the UAE Armed Forces. The exhibitions showcase the latest technologies and innovation in the global defence sector, support the growth of UAE’s defence industry, and forge new relationships between major international companies.

The International Defence Conference 2021 will be, for the first time, held as a hybrid event. The conference will bring together industry experts and specialists from across the world, physically and virtually, together to the ADNOC Business Center. The conference’s theme will be ‘The Prosperity and Development of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology and the Protection in the Era of the 4IR’.

The details for the 15th editions of IDEX, NAVDEX, and the International Defence Conference 2021 were announced to the public during a press conference held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre. The conference was held in the presence of His Excellency Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee for IDEX and NAVDEX; Major General Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Al-Balushi, Head of the Executive Directorate of Industries and Development of Defense Capabilities at the Ministry of Defense and Vice Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee for IDEX and NAVDEX; and Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company.

Speaking during the conference, Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei commented: “Since its inception, IDEX has supported the national and international defence sector. In doing so, this exhibition has furthered the establishment of the UAE on the regional and global stage. IDEX and NAVDEX are among the world’s most strategic and vital events, providing an integrated global platform that showcases cutting-edge technology and development. These developments empower participants to be informed of the latest breakthroughs in the fourth industrial revolution across land, sea, and air defence sectors.

“This edition marks the commencement of the recovery phase from the COVID-19 pandemic, in spite of the ongoing global conditions. It will demonstrate how Abu Dhabi and the UAE are ready and able to organise, deliver, and host leading international events. The UAE has the infrastructure and expertise necessary to organise such a global event in adherence to leading precautionary health and safety measures. These measures further exemplify how IDEX and NAVDEX lead the global events sector, and showcase how Abu Dhabi appeals to a wide range of countries to take part in one of the most prominent global defence events.

“Decision makers and experts from these important sectors will be heavily involved throughout these exhibitions,” continued H.E. Major General Staff Pilot Al Mazrouei, “and we will witness a wide global participation at this edition. Defence industry leaders from across the world will be able to build fruitful partnerships and further develop their respective national sectors through these exhibitions.

“Visitors and participants to the upcoming events will be able to understand the latest in global defence technology and equipment that can further ongoing peacekeeping endeavours. We anticipate an increase in participating UAE entities, which compete internationally through creating a vibrant, advanced, and productive sector, driven by distinguished talent.

“The 2021 edition of the exhibitions and the conference coincide with our nation’s Golden Jubilee. This occasion represents the culmination of a half-century of development and achievements, guaranteeing the UAE its prestigious international position.

“IDEX, NAVDEX, and the International Defence Conference will mark the starting point for the resumption of business tourism activities. These conferences will contribute to our continued development, helping the UAE look toward the future. They will complement the UAE’s wider story of success over the next fifty years, helping build a competitive national economy which is based on knowledge and innovation.”

Concluding, H.E. Major General Staff Pilot Al Mazrouei said: “Hosting this upcoming edition, at this particular moment in global history, further demonstrates the UAE as a safe and attractive international destination. Our country has been able to proactively manage and curb the spread of COVID-19, while also being able to welcome the world to our nation.”

Major General Pilot Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Al-Balushi commented: “We are immensely proud to launch IDEX, NAVDEX and the International Defence Conference 2021 during this time. The international community is confident in our ability to organise these exhibitions on schedule. In close cooperation with ADNEC, the Higher Organising Committee has developed detailed and thorough plans to organise these exceptional editions. They mark the first live event of the global defence sector during the recovery phase from COVID-19, in addition to being the largest in-person event in Abu Dhabi since the pandemic.

“Our nation is a global example in our management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UAE is actively handling the recovery and revitalisation of the nation’s economic sector. We continue to support the global defence community, enabling its leaders to continue forging new economic success.

“The Higher Organising Committee is cooperating with a wide range of entities and institutions to ensure the rigorous implementation of international health and safety standards that protect delegations, participants, and visitors. We have seen a high turnout for the exhibitions from official delegates, decision makers, experts, and professionals from a wide range of critical sectors from countries across the world.

“ADNEC is cooperating with a wide range of organising committees and authorities to ensure each event can welcome international delegations, exhibitors, journalists, visitors, and participants. This includes close coordination with the General Command of the UAE Armed Forces, who are facilitating visa issuance for international delegations. In addition, international visitors are provided with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests upon arrival at the UAE’s airports, presenting their print-at-home registration badge to participate in IDEX and NAVDEX.”

Major General Staff Pilot Al-Balushi further commented: “19 hotels, located around the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre, have been selected to host international delegations and visitors participating at the event, in co-operation with the relevant authorities in Abu Dhabi. Each hotel is equipped with a PCR test centre, in coordination with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi. Additionally, participants will be able to use shuttle buses to transfer delegates to and from the events.”

“The International Defence Conference will bring together over 24 experts and specialists from across the world during its physical and virtual sessions. Over 2,000 leaders and senior executives from more than 80 countries, representing the global defence sector, will be able to meet and do business, while working with a range of bodies which bolster nations’ peacekeeping infrastructure. This further supports the UAE’s international leadership and its pivotal role in supporting defence on a local, regional, and international level.

“The International Defence Conference is a unique global event. It showcases the latest advanced defence technology, following global technological adoption trends for the fourth industrial revolution. The Conference demonstrates how international cooperation is crucial to restructure defence systems, following ongoing global technological challenges.”

Concluding, Major General Staff Pilot Al-Balushi said: “The 2021 edition of the Conference will commence with an opening speech by His Excellency Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bawardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs in the UAE. Subsequently, four main sessions will be held, hosting a select group of Emirati and international industry leaders. The first session will be titled ‘Exploring innovative opportunities in supply-chain ecosystem management beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic’The second session will be followed by ‘Protecting AI and other 4iR technologies in the age of collaboration and diffusion’. The third session will cover ‘Strengthening the Defence industries R&D in an increasingly complex dynamic context’, and the final session will be titled ‘A holistic view on Cyber Security Resiliency during the era of Digital Transformation’.”

Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNEC, commented: “Since inception in 1993, over 27 years ago, IDEX has realised a range of accomplishments, maintaining its position as a leading global defence event. This achievement is only possible through the significant and unwavering guidance of our wide national leadership.

“Over 900 exhibitors from 59 nations are expected to take part in the 2021 editions, with 35 national pavilions. IDEX and NAVDEX will welcome over 70,000 local and international visitors during five days, in addition to 110 international delegations confirmed their attendance. Over 500 journalists from 64 nations will cover both the exhibitions and the conference,” commented Al Dhaheri.

“Five countries will participate in IDEX and NAVDEX for the first time: Israel, North Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, and Portugal. 84% of companies exhibiting will be internationally based, while 16% will be UAE based entities. Such figures demonstrate the vast international interest in IDEX and NAVDEX, alongside showcasing the high quality of defence innovations which will be on display in Abu Dhabi.”

“IDEX and NAVDEX will be hosted across ADNEC’s indoor and outdoor exhibition space, which reached about 155,000 square metres. Outdoor space and water demonstrations for NAVDEX will take place at the ADNEC Marina, spanning across 81,000 square metres.

“NAVDEX will welcome over 70 exhibitors from 16 countries. Over 17 naval units and vessels will participate at the conference from 10 nations: the United States of America, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Italy, South Africa, India, Greece, and the United Arab Emirates. Naval ships and equipment will be on display at the pier of ADNEC Marina at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre, as well as in dedicated areas in Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi’s port area.

“The safety and wellbeing of all participants and visitors to IDEX, NAVDEX, and the International Defence Conference is ADNEC’s top priority. We have implemented a wide range of precautionary and preventative measures that ensure the health and safety of visitors and participants alike. These measures have been developed in close co-operation with relevant health and regulatory authorities.”

Concluding, Al Dhaheri said: “ADNEC thanks our partners in both the public and private sectors. We are immensely grateful to the continued and steadfast support of the Ministry of Defense and the General Command of the UAE Armed Forces. We are also grateful to each member of the Higher Organising Committee, to their subcommittees, and to the government entities which have ensured the success of these events, guaranteeing they meet standards which befit the UAE’s international reputation and stature.”

A wide raft of health and safety measures will be applied throughout the exhibitions, ensuring the safety of delegations, participants, and visitors. For more information and details on these measures, please visit

Related Articles