Region’s largest defence show opens

Mohammed bin Rashid and Mohammed bin Zayed attend Idex opening ceremony in Abu Dhabi

The Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, along with General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, attended the official inauguration of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex) and the naval show, Navdex, today.

Idex is the region’s largest defence show with more than 60,000 military delegates and other guests likely to visit the five-day exhibition.

The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex 2013) will attract 77 defence ministers from around the world and 1,112 companies from 59 countries are participating in the show at the massive Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre, one of the largest exhibiting areas in the Middle East.

Idex, rated as one of the most important military shows in the world, is spread over a record 124,000 square metres covering the main exhibition halls and Navadex, the naval show that has grown sharply over the past years. Organisers said 79 senior army officers from other countries along with a large number of military delegates from 82 nations are expected to come to Idex, which was first launched as a land arms exhibition before growing out into full-fledged defence show prompted by the strong demand by world arms exhibitors.

The UAE surprised observers and announced that it is staging the largest country pavilion in Idex, which has snowballed into a land, air and naval arms exhibition since it was launched in 1993.

“Idex is the only tri-service exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the most strategically important defence exhibition in the world, providing the optimum business environment for international solution providers across land, sea and air sectors,” said Major General Obaid Al Ketbi, Chairman of the organizing committee for Idex, now in its 11th round.

More than 147 UAE-based companies are exhibiting at Idex, spanning over 12,500 square metres of exhibition space. Those with the largest space reserved include Tawazun, headline sponsors of the exhibition, with 2,918 square metres reserved, and Mubadala Development Company, with 1,870 square metres.

“We are very pleased with large national turnout at this year’s Idex,” said Saleh Al Marzooqi, Idex Director. “With military and high level business leaders attending the event, Idex has become a true platform for local organizations to showcase the emerging prominence of the UAE’s defence industry.”

Besides the UAE, other key exhibitors at Idex include Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Arab countries besides such major weapons producers as the United States, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, China, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Malaysia and Indonesia.

 The event, which also includes a defence conference, is held under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has given full support for the show over the past years.

“The UAE policy, crafted by the wise leadership, adopts the safe and peaceful co-existence approach for its citizens and residents living on its land,” Al Ketbi said, adding that the organization of the biennial Idex illustrates the UAE’s commitment to security, safety and stability of the region.

Data by the organizers showed Idex 2011 attracted 1,060 exhibitors from 52 countries and nearly 60,000 military delegates and other visitors.

“The  current event includes1,112 companies representing 59 countries and 38 national pavilions…it occupies an area of  nearly124,000 square metres at the twin event Idex and NAVIdex,” Al Ketbi said.

Idex, which has put Abu Dhabi on the global defence industry map, took off on a strong basis two decades ago, when the UAE announced its intention to buy 436 French-built Leclerc battle tanks, one of the largest arms deal in the region.

Mohammed receives Idex delegations

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, received heads of delegations of more than 57 countries participating at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex 2013) and other UAE guests at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (Adnec).

Also present were General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed welcomed the guests, wishing them a pleasant stay and that their visit might further enhance trade and economic cooperation relations with the UAE and other countries of the region.

Mohammed issues resolution on mosques

UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has issued UAE Cabinet resolution No. 39 of 2012 on maintenance and caretaking of mosques in the UAE with aims to safeguard the sanctity of places of worship.

Article IV of the resolution mandates that local entities in each emirate are responsible for issuing and keeping registers of mosques and endowments in favour of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments. Article V of the resolution forbids the establishment and building of mosques or any attached amenities without obtaining approval.

Any acts that include preaching, delivering lectures, education, meetings, Quran learning, conducting social meetings, distribution of books or audio/video materials, collecting donations, using mosques to distribute advertisements and pamphlets are prohibited by Article VI of the resolution.

Article VII of the resolution prohibits interfering with issues concerning the call for prayer ‘Azan,’ prayer and sermons. Additionally, begging or any act that disrupts the security sanctity of mosques is also forbidden and punishable by law.

As clearly stated in Article VIII, it is prohibited to employ or assign tasks to any person from any nationality except after obtaining proper approval from concerned authorities.

The resolution states that any violations of articles V, VI, VII and VIII are punishable with detention (not exceeding one month) and/or fines (not exceeding Dh5,000). Filing suits or requesting investigations can only be applied for by the concerned authorities, which may suffice with warnings and written pledges not to make such violations in the future.

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