Sheikh Mohammed unveils first UAE-made military vehicle at Idex

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed meet foreign dignitaries. (WAM)

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Sunday opened the 10th International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex) in the presence of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Being staged under the kind patronage of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) from February 20-24, 2011, the spectacular opening ceremony was attended by a high-profile audience of sheikhs, ministers, senior civilian and military officials, in addition to 66 defence ministers, 64 chiefs of staff, top commanders as well as VIP guests, dignitaries, diplomats and leaders of the world defence industry.

The biennial Idex is the largest tri-service defence and security exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa region. The 2011 event marks the 10th edition of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference. Organised by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (Adnec) in association with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ, Idex 2011 draws more than 1,000 exhibitors. Tawazun Holding is the headline sponsor for the event.

The exhibition will showcase the latest defence equipment and services for land, sea and airborne systems and will attract national and international delegations, procurement officials, industry analysts, military strategists as well as the world leading defence contractors.

Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony featured a parade of flags of the 53 participating countries. Military musical bands from Australia, New Zealand and the UAE Armed Forces and Abu Dhabi Police performed before the grand stand.

Helicopters and jet fighters flew past in salute, followed by parachutists landing in the confines of the parade area. Vehicles from the UAE Armed Forces and participating exhibitors passed through the parade area.

Also present at the opening ceremony were Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance; Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman; Sheikh Rashid bin Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, Crown Prince of Umm Al Quiwain; Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah; Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region; Sheikh Surour bin Mohammed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor; Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Representative of Ruler of Abu Dhabi;  Lt General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation; Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Presidential Aviation Authority; Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister; Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Etihad Airways; Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council; Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Dr Sheikh Saeed bin Mohammed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research; Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Public Works; Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA); Ahmed Juma Al Za'abi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs; Lt General Obeid Mohammed Al Ka'abi, Undersecretary of Defence Ministry; and Lt General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of UAE Armed Forces.

First-UAE made military vehicle 

Sheikh Mohammed unveiled on Sunday the first fully UAE-manufactured military vehicle at the Idex.

The Tiger armoured vehicle was launched by Sheikh Mohammed during his visit to the stand of Tawazun Holding, the headline sponsor of Idex.

Made by Nimir Auto Company, a Tawazun subsidiary in Abu Dhabi, the armoured and non-armoured vehicle satisfies the rigorous requirements of the UAE Armed Forces.

The high mobility 4 and 6 wheel multipurpose vehicle can accommodate the most sophisticated telecommunications and remote-sensing and weaponry.

According to experts, the UAE-made vehicle can compete with the US's Hummer, which has been tipped as the world No. 1 military vehicle.

The all-terrain vehicle has an elicit overwhelming interest from defence experts in the Arab, Gulf and Africa countries.

The UAE Armed Forces and Ministry of Interior are expected to sign contracts with the manufacturer to acquire the vehicle.

Tawazun says the UAE young minds have proven their competence and efficiency in the defence industry.

Commends the event 

At his tour, Sheikh Mohammed, who was accompanied by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler`s Representative in the Eastern Region, and a group of top officials, acquainted himself with the latest land, sea and air defence technology, products and services showcased by UAE, Arab and foreign exhibitors.

During his tour, Sheikh Mohammed showed particular interest in the UAE pavilions where he was updated achievements the national companies have made and their future expansion plans.

''Idex provides experts and other interesting circles in defence technology and systems with a platform to view the latest products the creative and innovative human mind has crafted,'' Sheikh Mohammed said.

Sheikh Mohammed gave special credit to the organisers for the excellent organisation of the event and the smooth and easy access to all pavilions.

He noted that the UAE youths had gained rich knowledge and credible experience in organisation, management and operation of events in every sector, thus earning the UAE a regional and international prominence as the most favourite destination among investors, industrial and commercial companies, and businessmen.

Apart from his stops at a number of national stands, the Vice President visited pavilions of UK, Ukraine, Italy,Australia, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan, South Korea, US and China.

Sheikh Mohammed also watched a demonstration of the pilot project featuring the 2011-REEM (Reem), launched by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (Adnec).

Adnec has begun trials of the robot which can assist visitors at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, providing them with information and guiding them to stands and key locations within the venue.

Adnec is believed to be the first exhibition and live events venue to trial such an initiative.

1.65m in height, with a mobile base that enables the robot to move at 5km/hour, the advanced capabilities of Reem include a motorised head with vision, face tracking and recognition functions. The robot contains sensors and a multimedia touchscreen that can offer information in various formats, as well as the ability to speak to a helpdesk attendant via video conference.

Inaugurates Navdex

Sheikh Mohammed also opened in the presence of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the inaugural edition of the Naval Defence Exhibition (Navdex) at the marina of the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre (Adnec).

Sheikh Mohammed boarded a UAE navy vessel where he viewed a photo exhibition showcasing units belonging to the UAE naval forces.

Navdex is being staged in parallel with the Idex 2011.

The nation's first ever international Naval Defense Exhibition, Navdex attracts 88 exhibitors from 17 countries and will also be hosting up to 5 visiting ships from countries including France, and UK, alongside the UAE.

Navdex will become the main sourcing platform for the UAE Navy as well as Naval Forces and maritime companies from the Middle East, North Africa and Asian subcontinent.

 Exhibitors at Navdex are expected to range from ship manufacturers to ship repair services companies, technology providers to naval aviation such as helicopters and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), weapons and combat systems to logistics and infrastructure providers, training and education suppliers to equipment providers for diving, search and rescue, firefighting and medical supplies, among others.

Launching from 20th - 24th February 2011, Navdex is the Middle East's premier exhibition dedicated to the naval defence, coastal and maritime security sector.

Navdex is expected to attract a high-profile audience of influential decision makers dedicated to the procurement of naval and coastal defence products, services and solutions from the UAE, Middle East, Africa and Asian Subcontinent.

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