Saudi Arabia announced Wednesday it was launching “World Defense Show” in 2022 focused on interoperability across air, land, sea, security, innovative defense technologies, and satellite defense systems.
The General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) said the show would take center stage in the global defense show circuit, offering exhibitors and visitors the opportunity to participate in Saudi Arabia’s first truly integrated defense show, according to Saudi Press Agency (SPA)
Speaking at a virtual press conference attended by international defense companies, GAMI’s governor Ahmad al-Ohali stated that technology has accelerated the rate at which the global defense industry was evolving, prompting defense considerations to become increasingly complex.
Ohali asserted the need for a platform that would enable the defense community to convene and collectively consider the great opportunities and challenges of nowadays.
“This is why we are launching World Defense Show, an innovative platform showcasing, through both live and virtual demonstrations, the possibilities that interoperability can provide across all five defense domains: air, land, sea, security, and satellite.”
He added that this came to fulfill the aspirations of the leadership in developing local military capabilities, and under the guidance of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Chairman of GAMI.
Ohali said the Authority was considering two locations for site options, and during the coming period the site would be chosen, explaining that it would include a runway for aviation shows and events.
Asked by Asharq Al-Awsat on Saudi Arabia becoming an investment destination in the fields of military industries, Ohali indicated that the defense exhibition was a fundamental pillar within the strategy developed by the Authority, in cooperation with all partners and stakeholders, to localize the military industries in the Kingdom.
He noted Saudi Arabia's key role in the global defense sector with one of the largest budgets in the world devoted to defense, highlighting the opportunity for manufacturers and international investors to establish partnerships with the Kingdom.
“There is no better place than Saudi Arabia to organize a defense event at this scale. A G20 country, the Kingdom is one of the world’s biggest defense spenders with a strategic location at the center of three continents, making it an ideal hub for defense trade and innovation.”
Saudi Arabia’s vision to localize 50 percent of its multi-billion-dollar defense expenditure by 2030 presents massive opportunities to global industry and investors, according to Ohali.
He pointed out to the importance of the military industry sector in supporting the GDP. It is expected to achieve about $2.5 billion revenues in 2030, and create about 42,000 direct job opportunities.
“Today’s launch of the World Defense Show marks an exciting inflection point for the defense industry and a step forward in the ambition and scale of a defense trade show. Through the World Defense Show we will demonstrate why Saudi Arabia is critical to the defense industry’s future,” the CEO of the World Defense Show Shaun Ormrod, was quoted by SPA as saying.
Ormrod explained that the platform would enable access to dedicated programs that support Saudi Arabia’s local businesses, noting that it would leverage investment opportunities and encourage a new generation to work in the defense industries.
When asked about the exhibition, Ormrod explained how it would uniquely cover all defense sectors and focus on the future of the defense industries by highlighting future technologies and operational compatibility between all systems.
He also indicated that holding the exhibition in Saudi Arabia would allow international investors and manufacturers to partner with one of the largest economies in the world and present opportunities offered by localized defense industries in the Kingdom.
Founded by GAMI, World Defense Show is focused on interoperability across air, land, sea, security, innovative defense technologies, and satellite defense systems. The inaugural event is scheduled to take place between 6th and 9th March 2022 and will then be held biennially in Riyadh.
Over four days, the World Defense Show will showcase comprehensive and interactive displays of integrated defense technology solutions, alongside conferences and thought leadership seminars focused on the next generation of defense.
The show’s venue, estimated to accommodate 80,000 square meters of exhibition, hospitality and outdoor area, will feature demonstration facilities and virtual technological capabilities to showcase every defense domain on an unprecedented scale.