ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabian Military Industries is the official strategic partner for the World Defense Show, a defense conference scheduled for an inaugural launch in March 2022 in Saudi Arabia, event organizers announced Monday.

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries, which is charged with building a sustainable domestic defense sector, founded the World Defense Show. GAMI’s governor, Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ohali, told Defense News during the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in the United Arab Emirates that the upcoming event will serve as a stage for the global defense industry and regulators to come together in one place.

Al-Ohali admitted that approach might sound familiar. “It will be similar to IDEX, but expanding to all forces including cybersecurity areas. WDS is going to be a major platform for opportunities and opening investments for foreign companies into Saudi Arabi, demonstrate land, sea and cyber throughout the four days.”

Defense News asked the CEO of the World Defense Show how the land-locked city of Riyadh could host planned naval demonstrations.

“The naval assets are expected to be exhibited on seaports to demonstrate integration with land and air assets, [and viewed] through technology on-site in the World Defense Show’s command-and-control center,” Shaun Ormrod said.

“We are halfway through building a site north of Riyadh. This exhibition and conference center is approximately, 58,000 square meters of internal exhibition space, [with an additional] 50,000 square meters on outdoor display and demonstration area,” Ormrod added.

With about one year to go before the March 6-9, 2022, show, the executive said event planners have conducted sales meetings with more than 100 companies in the defense and security sectors, already securing commitments that cover more than half of the show’s exhibition space.

Agnes Helou was a Middle East correspondent for Defense News. Her interests include missile defense, cybersecurity, the interoperability of weapons systems and strategic issues in the Middle East and Gulf region.

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