The International Defence Conference (IDC) 2019, being held 14 to 16 February at Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, is expected to draw the participation of over 1,200 global defence specialists. For the first time, IDC will be combined with the Abu Dhabi International Offset Conference (ADIOC) with the aim of creating a comprehensive global forum covering all defence and security issues as well as the relevant innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) with this year’s theme — ‘Shaping Our Shared Future: Strengthening Our Security and Prosperity through Innovation’.
His Excellency Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, CEO of the Tawazun Economic Council, explained that the events were merged due to the common resolve of both towards developing a robust defence technological and industrial base that will serve and drive economic development in the UAE.
His Excellency Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, CEO of the Tawazun Economic Council, said: “The conference will tackle highly interesting and relevant topics addressing current developments in the defence, security and offset sectors, and how these sectors are impacted by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, particularly in terms of strategy to deal with 4IR, innovation, manufacturing and training.”
His Excellency added that the Tawazun Economic Council is looking forward to seeing benefit from the conference outcomes in drawing-up strategies to contribute to comprehensive development drive, enable defence and security industries, promote constructive partnerships, facilitate technology transfer and to build capabilities.
The conference’s agenda will feature interactive discussions on four key focus areas: offset, security and stability, knowledge economy, and innovation and artificial intelligence. The event will also seek to strengthen the leading status of the UAE as a global hub for such specialised conferences.
His Excellency Staff Major General Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of IDEX and NAVDEX 2019, said: “The arrival of 4IR and its advanced technologies, especially in the field of artificial intelligence, requires devising innovative strategies to utilise its high-tech capabilities in an optimal manner to ensure global stability, security and peace. Every advance in science and technology brings with it a wealth of opportunities and challenges that need addressing – and that is the objective of IDC 2019.”
Added His Excellency: “We attribute the significant growth of IDC, IDEX and NAVDEX, and their ability to keep pace with the latest developments in the defence industry to the guidance of our wise leadership, whose strategic vision continues to inspire our current and future generations.”
Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Group CEO of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), the event organiser, said: “The new format of IDC demonstrates the breadth of our strategic collaboration with our partners in the defence industry. Through merging IDC with ADIOC into one event, we seek to create an integrated platform that combines economic, defence and security disciplines with innovation to enable us to reap the full benefits of 4IR. The merger will enhance the global significance of this conference while fulfilling the urgent need to provide a holistic international perspective.”
This year’s event will also serve as a precursor to the 2019 edition of IDEX/NAVDEX being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 17 to 21 February. Occurring biennially, IDEX/NAVDEX are held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Added Al Dhaheri: “The 2017 edition of IDEX/NAVDEX drew 105,000 attendees as well as 1,235 exhibitors from the defence industry. The strong participation of influential personalities and decision-makers from the defence sector underlines the status of the UAE in general, and Abu Dhabi in particular, as a leading global destination for hosting such high-calibre events.”
Al Dhaheri also noted that the conference agenda will include a tour of Abu Dhabi’s major tourism sites and cultural landmarks for the participating delegates, aimed at promoting the rich culture and history of the emirate.