Monday, 24 March 2014

D I M D E X 2014

New Opportunities
Interview with Brig. Dr. (Eng) Thani A. Al-Kuwari, Assistant Chief of Staff for Financial Affairs, Qatar Armed Forces, and Chairman of DIMDEX

NAVAL FORCES: How do you describe the present business climate for naval systems in the Gulf Region?
Brigadier Al-Kuwari: In contrast to the downsizing trend globally, the MENA naval market continues to show strong growth with a regional new construction ship market valued at US$45Bn. Not only are the naval forces in the Gulf Region spending on naval platforms, but also on UAV, training and simulation, and supports services. Qatar is not different with ambitious procurement plans.

NAVAL FORCES: What is the function of DIMDEX in this market perspective?
Brigadier Al-Kuwari: DIMDEX provides a platform for industry to meet with [the] world’s key decision makers, defence officials, and government high dignitaries to discuss current and future requirements. DIMDEX has a strong history of delivering VIP military delegations at the highest level, and under the Patronage of the Emir in 2014 this support will only increase.

NAVAL FORCES: How is DIMDEX different compared with other defence exhibitions, both outside and within the MENA region?
Brigadier Al-Kuwari: Apart from being the only comprehensive and fully integrated naval show in the region, DIMDEX is now also renowned to be the MENA’s leading maritime defence exhibition and conference. With success of three prior editions, it is evident that DIMDEX is a ‘must-attend’ show. Despite having various events of the similar concept in the global forefront, the MENA naval market has been forecasted to have strong growth over the next 20 years and beyond.

NAVAL FORCES: What are your expectations for 2014? Can you provide numerical figures, such as expected number of exhibitors and visitors?
Brigadier Al-Kuwari: We expect over 200 exhibitors and close to 100 VIP delegations. With exhibitors taking bigger booths and bringing in additional equipment and crafts to showcase the show is also almost sold out and is set to be almost double the size of the 2012 edition – a testament to the work the Qatar Armed Forces has been doing with its existing suppliers and potential partners.

NAVAL FORCES: DIMDEX includes both an exhibition and a conference. How these two events complement each other?
Brigadier Al-Kuwari: The exhibition is quite simply a platform to network and do business enabling industry to present both examples and also fully operational static displays of their capabilities. The conference focuses on thought leadership and sharing of knowledge amongst defence industry leaders. Both aspects are very important for the market to develop and for relationships to be forged between armed forces and also with industry. Every level of the value chain will be catered for.

NAVAL FORCES: We thank you very much for your impressions on DIMDEX 2014.

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