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Global industry product reveals, landmark business deals, large VIP delegations and mass visitor numbers mark the conclusion of Qatar’s premier international maritime and defence event

The 10th anniversary edition of the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX 2018), held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, and hosted and organised by Qatar Armed Forces, concluded today (March 14), attracting close to 13,000 visitors over the three days.

The sixth edition of the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference 2018, was under the theme “World-Class Platform for Technology, Maritime & Defence Industry Capabilities.” DIMDEX features four key elements, including the Exhibition, the Middle East Naval Commanders Conference (MENC), the Visiting Warships at Hamad Port, as well as the hosting of VIP and senior officials from around the world.

A record number of agreements have been signed at this year’s DIMDEX 2018, with more than 35 partnerships being announced. Barzan Holdings (Strategic Partner), that was officially launched during the DIMDEX 2018 opening ceremony, signed more than 20 MoU and partnership agreements with multiple regional and international defence companies, aimed at empowering the military capabilities of Qatar Armed Forces, and enhancing the security and protection of the country’s natural resources.

Commenting on the success of DIMDEX 2018, Staff Brigadier (Sea) Abdulbaqi S. Al-Ansari, Chairman of DIMDEX said: “It was an honour welcoming and working with industry leaders and Qatar’s foremost businesses that have ensured the continuous success of DIMDEX. This year’s edition marked a special occasion as it celebrated its 10th anniversary. The highly anticipated industry event has once again proved itself as the MENA region’s premier maritime and defence exhibition, and as the preferred destination for procurement opportunities for decision-makers.

(Sea) Al-Ansari, continued; “In addition to brand new technological advancements that have been revealed at this year’s event, DIMDEX also nurtures maritime and industry solutions and provides a collaborative destination to address current regional and international challenges, to advance and protect global defence and trade. We look forward to preparing for our next edition, DIMDEX 2020.”

Acting as a platform for presenting state-of-the-art technologies, global industry giants utilised DIMDEX 2018 to debut their latest products including global firsts for Leonardo showing the OTO Marlin 40 naval turret and BAE Systems design of the Type 31e frigate, as well as for the first time in the Middle East, Sofresud’s Intuitive Pointing Device (IPD) naval gun.

As one of the four key elements of the show, the first day of DIMDEX 2018 saw the arrival of 11 visiting ships from Qatar, Oman, Italy, USA, the UK, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh at Hamad Port. In particular, the UK’s RFA Cardigan Bay, a Bay-Class Landing Ship Dock and HMS Middleton, a Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel, as well as India’s INS Koikata, the lead ship of the Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers. In addition, an official gala dinner was hosted at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, where ceremonial shields were presented to naval ship commanders of visiting warships and official sponsors.

During the second day of the event, DIMDEX hosted prominent naval defence commanders, thought-leaders and experts from various parts of the world, at the sixth Middle East Naval Commanders Conference (MENC) titled “Building Capabilities in Challenging Environments through Visionary International Military Cooperation and Defence Engagement,” under the auspices of H.E. Dr. Khaled bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, Minister of State for Defence Affairs.

The conference provided the participating delegates an opportunity to discuss the importance of long-term strategic planning and potential methods of building military and defence capabilities across the region. Topics discussed focused on granting maritime security and access to the global maritime community, building capabilities in challenging environments, international military cooperation, and maritime defence planning and building capabilities.

The final day of the exhibition saw H.E. Dr. Khaled bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, visiting Hamad Port to thank the visiting warships for their participation in DIMDEX 2018. Additionally, H.E. Dr. Al-Attiyah and the Italian Minister of Defence Roberta Pinotti, signed an agreement for the purchase of 28 NH90 medium twin-engine multirole helicopters.

Over 180 global exhibitors and close to 90 VIP official delegations from 60 countries participated in this year’s edition across the defence, maritime and security sectors, and DIMDEX continues to earn its position as one of the most prestigious maritime defence shows in the region. Offering its audience ‘A World-Class Platform for Technology, Maritime & Defence Industry Capabilities,‘ DIMDEX 2018 remains true to Doha’s position as a burgeoning business hub, as testament to this attracting new international participation from Russia and China, as two of the nine national pavilions in the Exhibition, held at Qatar National Convention Centre.

Acting as a pivotal platform for exhibitors to access key decision makers represented by VIP delegates, since its first edition in 2008, DIMDEX has supported billions of dollars of deals.