BEIRUT — Egypt’s Defense Ministry is launching the country’s first naval defense exhibition in September 2022, dubbed “Naval Power,” according to the commander of the Navy.

Lt. Gen. Ahmed Khaled Hassan Said Ahmed made the announcement during the Egypt Defence Expo, which ran Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

The Ministry of Military Affairs will organize the event in cooperation with Arabian World Events, which helped with EDEX 2021.

“After hitting its goal with more than 400 exhibitors at EDEX 2021, Egypt is moving to more specialized defense exhibitions, and the naval expo to be held is in accordance with all the country’s efforts to boost its naval and maritime capabilities,” Ahmad Eliba, a defense expert at the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies, told Defense News.

But there’s no shortage of regional defense shows already on the books. Other events scheduled for 2022 include:

  • The unmanned systems expo UMEX in the United Arab Emirates for February.
  • The Qatari maritime exhibition DIMDEX for March.
  • Saudi Arabia’s World Defense Show for March.
  • The Iraq Defense Exhibition, or IQDEX, for March.
  • The International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, or IADE, in Tunisia for May 2022.
  • The Bahrain International Airshow for November.
  • The special operations forces show SOFEX in Jordan in late October and early November.
  • The Gulf Defense and Aerospace Exhibition and Conference in Kuwait for December.

The year 2023 also has its share of the shows, including:

  • The International Defence Exhibition and Conference, or IDEX, in the UAE for February.
  • IDEX’s accompanying maritime exhibition, NAVDEX, also in February.
  • The Dubai Airshow in the UAE for November.
  • Egypt’s EDEX for December.
  • And likely Turkey’s International Defence Industry Fair, or IDEF, which is biennial; however, the show’s official website does not have a date yet.

Asked about how Egypt’s planned naval expo will stand out in a saturated market of defense shows, Mohamed al-Kenany, who leads the military studies unit at the Cairo-based Arab Forum for Analyzing Iranian Policies, said the event is partly meant to boost local production.

“Middle Eastern countries are continuously supporting their defense capabilities,” he told Defense News. “This show is not a general show; it is specialized in naval power, and Egypt is working to localize the production of its naval assets, so it all falls into place.”

He added that the expo not only serves to attract international companies to offer their systems to the region, but also as a platform for Egypt to support localization efforts as part of the government’s Egypt Vision 2030 initiative.

“Egypt chose September for the naval show because it is the month the maritime drills and trainings are held extensively,” he explained. “And with all the ports Egypt is inaugurating on the Mediterranean – like [expansion at the] Alexandria [port], the Port of El-Dekheila, and the naval military bases including ‘3 July Naval Base’ and ‘East Port Said Naval Base’ — Egypt definitely needs to secure them, and the expo will play a crucial role in this.”

Agnes Helou is 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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