The General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) will organize next year’s World Defense Show being staged in Saudi Arabia for the first time under the patronage of King Salman, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) has reported.
The event, due to take place in Riyadh from March 6 to 9, is expected to attract more than 30,000 visitors including some of the world’s top industry experts.
Sector representatives will participate in thought leadership sessions focusing on the future of the industry across air, land, sea, space, and security, while also considering interoperable defense solutions.
GAMI Gov. Ahmad Al-Ohali, said: “On behalf of GAMI and the World Defense Show’s organizing committee, we are honored and blessed with the continued support of the Kingdom’s leadership to strengthen the Kingdom’s position at the center of a more collaborative global defense industry.
“The royal patronage is an extension of the leadership’s unwavering support to localizing 50 percent of military expenditure in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 (reform plan),” he added.
As well as being one of the world’s leading defense industry events, the show will also offer a global hub for business and defense innovation and will take place every two years at a purpose-built venue in the Saudi capital.
• 86 percent of the exhibition space has already been allocated to big-name companies such as Lockheed Martin, Embraer, and General Dynamics.
Providing a global platform for defense experts, industry leaders, and manufacturers it will enable collaboration opportunities between international and local players and allow wider access to Saudi Arabia’s evolving defense and security industries, the SPA said.
In July, GAMI announced that the event would include at least 85 military delegations and that 86 percent of exhibition space had already been allocated to big-name companies such as Lockheed Martin, Embraer, and General Dynamics.
Saudi Arabia has been investing heavily in its defense industries to reduce reliance on imported military hardware as well as add higher value jobs in the Kingdom.
GAMI was established in 2017 and last year helped drive the localization rate within the sector to 8 percent from just 2 percent before its formation. For the first half of the year, it announced a 41 percent increase, to 99, in the number of licensed companies in the Kingdom, with 85 percent of them being local firms.
Among the latest investments to boost local manufacturing is a project to develop armored protected vehicles spearheaded by the Military Industries Corporation.
Zamil Offshore Services and CMN Group have also collaborated on the development of high-speed interceptor vessels.