His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday emphasised that the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, Idex, is among the world's most important defense shows in terms of the increasing number of participating countries and exhibitors, the quality and types of showcased products as well as the number of visitors it draws from tens of close and remote countries.
In statements to WAM ahead of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, Idex 2013 which opens tomorrow at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (Adnec), Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: "Our country's political approach, established by our founding fathers and followed, developed and adapted by us in response to developments and changes, under the leadership of my brother President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has ensured expanded and good relations with all states, thanks to our country's balanced policy.
He expressed pride in the unceasing progress of Idex and thanked General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his interest in this exhibition and his continuous patronage which ensured its increasing success edition after edition.
He also greeted the specialised male and female members of the Armed Forces who work at Idex and all other shows.
He explained that Idex which achieved its recognised position on the global exhibition industry map is not an arms market, but it is an information store and a platform for updating these information through viewing the latest inventions and modifications to air, land and sea weapons, and reconnaissance, observation and communication equipment and logistic tools.
"States do not send delegations to exhibitions in order to buy arms. They do so to expand their knowledge, learn and view what is new. Armies do not determine their weapon systems within days or weeks, rather they take enough time to study, test and compare between alternatives before they take a decision. Deals that are concluded at such exhibitions are preceded by a decision that is made over months or even years. Based on this, the significance of Idex doubles as it enables participating states to update their information about the matters they are interested in, and to expand their choice from alternatives, learn about their specifications and sometimes to test them. For the UAE, the exhibition offers its Armed Forces an ideal opportunity to update their information and to test new weapons and equipment to help increase their capabilities and readiness."
Speaking on the factors which enabled the UAE to achieve success and global reputation in organising and holding air and defense exhibitions, Sheikh Mohammed expressed pleasure at the regional and international reputation achieved by the UAE, and also expressed "pride in the male and female youth who proved to be highly capable of leading the exhibition industry which has become a UAE brand expanding our relations with the states and peoples of the world, as well as enabling us to follow all new creations by the human mind."
He said: "I consider our national qualified human resources as the most important element in establishing the success of our exhibition industry. Our male and female youth carry the nation in their hearts and are keen on ensuring its reputation and elevate its name recognition through their dedication and continuous work towards excellence and workmanship."
"The other elements are many and on top comes the country's political approach, established by our founding fathers and followed, developed and adapted by us in response to developments and changes, under the leadership of my brother President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has ensured expanded and good relations with all states, thanks to our country's balanced policy. The humanitarian aspect of our policy enhanced our country's reputation by helping the less lucky sates and peoples inflicted by wars and natural disasters."
He expressed pride in the fact that the UAE is among the world's top aid donors, in terms of its national income. The reason why the UAE provides aid is purely humanitarian and is based on our doctrine and values and our belief in fraternity among people and the common human destiny.
"The second element is our commitment to sustainable development and our success in achieving it as reflected by the ongoing growth and progress. Our economy is the second largest in the Arab region after Saudi Arabia and registers annual growth and increases the diversification of its components and its tools move further to the knowledge-based economy. The UAE owns a world-class infrastructure which we continue to develop as we seek excellence in this respect. In the same context, our international ranking in terms of competitiveness and human development continues to go up. Through our planned work in spheres such as education, healthcare and women empowerment, we seek to reach the highest rankings."
"The third element is the efficiency of the government and the streamlined government procedures. Building on our success, we are determined to establish the culture of excellence, in terms of the performance of the federal government and the local governments," he said, expressing pleasure at the success of most ministries and departments in achieving excellence, as their customer service surpass the best international practices. "We want this success to expand to all ministries and departments. This will be achieved soon, through relying on God's help and the determination of our male and female youth."
"In addition to the efficiency of our security apparatus and the rule of law, combined, the aforesaid elements contributed to reinforcing the fourth element which is the established security and stability in our country. Another element which contributed to the success of our exhibition industry is our ability to exploit our geographic location to serve the interests of our country and people through taking interest in air and sea transport and modern communications which further enhanced our country's position as a major global hub for trade, business and investment."
Speaking on preparations for the new edition of Dubai Air Show, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said, the forthcoming 13th edition of the event will be held on 17th of November and that preparations are afoot and as scheduled. "The new aspect in this edition is that the show will be moved to the new venue, the Al Maktoum International Airport at the heart of Dubai World Central. The construction of the main building, including visitor and exhibitor halls, in now complete. The new venue will be an addition to the UAE's exhibition industry. Bookings for the 13th edition are increasing and promise significant growth over the 12th edition which drew 960 exhibitors from 50 countries and 600000 trade visitors from around the world.
Speaking on the UAE's capability to build defense industry to meet its future defense requirements, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: I think this questions is self-answering. Around the world, there are maybe three or four countries which are capable of building defense industries to meet their requirements. Even these countries are not self-efficient and still import types or a part of weapons and equipment from other countries. We, in the UAE know our capabilities and needs and what is suitable for us and what is not. The world's markets are open for us and their products are offered to us."
He explained that the Armed Forces meet a part of their requirements from the local industry, and from joint industries set up by the UAE and sisterly or friendly countries. We have a aerostructures manufacturing facility in Al Ain which products are used by global aircraft manufacturers. If our leadership considers it necessary and feasible to manufacture certain types of weapons, it will do."
Expressing satisfaction over defense cooperation and coordination among GCC countries, he said: "Yes. Defense cooperation and coordination among the member states of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) is ongoing, effective and covers all military spheres. The future promises the highest levels of cooperation and coordination. I am confident that GCC countries are one whole unit that is self-consolidating and that our leaderships and peoples are very closely united together."
Sheikh Mohammed attends UAE President's Cup endurance race
The 160-kilometre race was also attended by Dubai Deputy Ruler and Finance Minister, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Dr. Sheikh Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a number of other sheikhs, senior officials and a crowd of endurance race enthusiasts.
Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and other sheikhs were among 132 participating riders from the UAE, Arab Countries, European countries and the United States.
Riding Orman De Cardonne, former UAE national team rider Mohammad Ali Al Shafar won the prestigious 160-kilometre endurance sporting event that has a total cash prize of Dh 1.5 million.
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