Inaugurated on February 4th by the Minister of Defense and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of GAMI, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the World Defense Show 2024 gathered at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center located around 70 km from the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over 770 exhibitors from more than 75 countries, which showcased their products in the five days of the event.
The presence of KSA industries increases, in line with the goals of Vision 2030 which aims localizing 50% of defence expenditures, an increase from 4% to 13.6% being obtained between 2021 and 2022, final data for 2023 being not yet available.
Beside the exhibition, which saw the unveiling of numerous products not only by KSA companies but also by international entities, the 2024 edition of the World Defense Show saw an intense flight activity, numerous aerobatic teams being deployed on the venue apron, combat aircraft also taking part in the air demonstration. On the ground a mobility area saw numerous vehicles demonstrating their mobility capacity.
Numerous conferences took also place on different topics. Among them, on Day 4, the exhibition hosted the International Women in Defense Program, led by Her Royal Highness Ambassador Reema Bandar Al-Saud, which highlighted the crucial role of women in the defence industry.
According to data provided by the organisers, the attendance at the 2024 edition of the World Defense Show marked a considerable increase over the previous edition. It must be noted that this year the exhibition lasted five days, instead of the four days of WDS 2022. Visitors increased from 65,000 to 106,000 while delegations more than quadrupled, 441 from 116 countries compared to the 100 of 2022. Exhibitors rose from 600 to 773, national pavilions jumping from 42 to 76.
On Day 5 the organisers announced that the next edition will take place from 8 to 12 February 2026.
Hereafter the articles on some of the main topics by the EDR On-Line staff.