The Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (Dimdex 2018) concluded on Wednesday, attracting close to 13,000 visitors over three days and witnessing the signing of a ‘record’ number of agreements, the organisers said.
Dimdex 2018 was held under the patronage of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, hosted and organised by the Qatar Armed Forces.
The sixth edition of Dimdex, which also marked its 10th anniversary, took place under the theme ‘World-Class Platform for Technology, Maritime & Defence Industry Capabilities’. It featured four key elements, the exhibition, Middle East Naval Commanders Conference (MENC), visiting warships at Hamad Port and the hosting of VIP and senior officials from around the world.
The organisers said a ‘record’ number of agreements were signed at Dimdex 2018, with more than 35 partnerships being announced. Barzan Holdings (strategic partner), which was officially launched during the Dimdex opening ceremony, signed more than 20 memorandums of understanding and partnership agreements with multiple regional and international defence companies, aimed at enhancing the military capabilities of the Qatar Armed Forces as well as the security and protection of the country’s natural resources.
The final day of the exhibition saw HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah visiting Hamad Port to thank the delegations that accompanied the visiting warships for their participation in Dimdex 2018. Additionally, an agreement was signed in the presence of HE Dr al-Attiyah and the Italian Minister of Defence Roberta Pinotti for the purchase of 28 NH90 medium twin-engine multirole helicopters.
Commenting on the success of the event, Dimdex chairman Staff Brigadier (Sea) Abdulbaqi S al-Ansari said: “It was an honour welcoming and working with industry leaders and Qatar’s foremost businesses that have ensured the continuous success of Dimdex. This year’s edition marked a special occasion as it celebrated its 10th anniversary. The highly anticipated industry event has once again proved itself as the Mena region’s premier maritime and defence exhibition, and as the preferred destination for procurement opportunities for decision-makers.
“In addition to brand new technological advancements that have been revealed at this year’s event, Dimdex also nurtures maritime and industry solutions and provides a collaborative destination to address current regional and international challenges, to advance and protect global defence and trade. We look forward to preparing for our next edition, Dimdex 2020.”
Acting as a platform for presenting state-of-the-art technologies, global industry giants utilised Dimdex 2018 to debut their latest products, including global firsts for Leonardo showing the OTO Marlin 40 naval turret and BAE Systems design of the Type 31e frigate, as well as for the first time in the Middle East, Sofresud’s Intuitive Pointing Device naval gun.
As one of the four key elements of the show, the first day of Dimdex 2018 saw the arrival of 11 visiting ships from Qatar, Oman, Italy, USA, the UK, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh at Hamad Port. These included the UK’s RFA Cardigan Bay, a Bay-class landing ship dock, and HMS Middleton, a Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel, as well as India’s INS Kolkata, the lead ship of the Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers. In addition, an official gala dinner was hosted at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, where ceremonial shields were presented to naval ship commanders of visiting warships and official sponsors.
During the second day of the event, Dimdex hosted prominent naval defence commanders, thought leaders and experts from various parts of the world, at the sixth MENC, titled ‘Building Capabilities in Challenging Environments through Visionary International Military Co-operation and Defence Engagement’, under the auspices of HE Dr al-Attiyah.
The conference provided the participating delegates with an opportunity to discuss the importance of long-term strategic planning and potential methods of building military and defence capabilities across the region. Topics discussed focused on granting maritime security and access to the global maritime community, building capabilities in challenging environments, international military cooperation, and maritime defence planning and building capabilities.
Over 180 global exhibitors and close to 90 VIP official delegations from 60 countries participated in this year’s edition across the defence, maritime and security sectors, and Dimdex “continues to earn its position as one of the most prestigious maritime defence shows in the region”.
“Offering its audience ‘A World-Class Platform for Technology, Maritime & Defence Industry Capabilities,‘ Dimdex 2018 remains true to Doha’s position as a burgeoning business hub, as testament to this attracting new international participation from Russia and China, as two of the nine national pavilions in the exhibition held at Qatar National Convention Centre,” the statement points out, adding that Dimdex has supported billions of dollars of deals since its first edition in 2008.
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