Idex 2009 opens with show of power
Abu Dhabi, February 23, 2009
With compelling displays by tanks, helicopters and jets, the ninth edition of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex 2009) opened on February 22 in Abu Dhabi.
This year’s show is the largest ever Idex edition, with a record-breaking 897 exhibitors from 50 countries and over 150 official delegations taking part.
And with the sheer size of Idex 2009 in mind, the opening ceremony provided a fitting commencement to what is the Middle East’s largest defence show with VIPs and visitors being given a glimpse of the scale of this important exhibition at which more than 45,000 visitors are expected, said an organiser.
The UAE Armed Forces treated guests to a breathtaking demonstration on the capital’s Al Bateen waterfront. Three visiting warships and a UAE naval vessel, moored in the coastal channel, provided the backdrop for the ensuing military displays.
Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, organisers of the event, created a mobility track, with simulated off-road surfaces that included water hazards, sheer drops and vastly uneven paths for military vehicles to cross.
Combat and support vehicles, from tanks and personnel carriers to recovery trucks and specialised sand transports, negotiated the course. Later, a display of aerial stunts by motocross riders completed the morning’s events on this track.
Meanwhile, in the sky, a squadron of F16 planes from the UAE Air Force staged a fly-by before the crowds. And subsequently, members of the country’s Special Forces performed a rope “fast drop” to the ground as their helicopters hovered above, before parachutists landed on the parade ground in front of the assembled dignitaries.
The military theme was enhanced by a display by a UAE Army band, and the music continued with large-scale performances of traditional dance by 200 children from the Abu Dhabi Educational Zone.
The 108,000 sqm gross size of the exhibition represents a 49 per cent growth over the 2007 edition.
The event will feature the Gulf Defence Conference, organised by Jane’s on behalf of Adnec, which will see some of the world’s leading military and security experts highlight emerging security challenges and threats.-TradeArabia News Service