Building on the success of the first edition the World Defense Show, the defence exhibition that takes place close to Saudi Arabia capital, will add space and will last one more day compared to the 2022 event
At the Paris Air Show EDR On-Line met the organisers of the World Defense Show to get the la test information on the 2024 edition of this exhibition that since its first edition in March 2022 the Riyadh exhibition became a reference in the Middle East.
The World Defense Show (WDS) 2024 will feature many news, the first being the date. The 2024 edition has been moved to the left and will now take place February 4-8 instead of mid March, when the weather proved to be critical, especially for what was linked to flight demonstrations. Another key factor is the fact that the exhibition time has been increased, the Saudi event being now a five-day exhibition.
Another key fact is the increased exhibiting surface; a new hall, Hall 3, will be added, which will increase floor space by 25%, to cope with the increased demand by exhibiting companies. According to WDS organisers, in mid-June 2023 90% of the space was already sold, the remaining 10% being mostly committed and just awaiting confirmation. In the end organisers are looking at some 750 exhibitors.
A number of successful schemes launched in 2022 will be proposed again to exhibitors. One of them is the “Meet the KSA Government” that allows companies to get in touch with Saudi officials and learn how to improve their contacts with Saudi Arabia. The other is the B2B Connect, which allows companies to arrange meetings ahead of the show, there was a huge demand two years ago, and organisers are doing all what they can to further improve that scheme.
As said the WDS will now be a five-day event; however Day 1 will be a preview day, and will be reserved to VIPs and delegations, normal visitors being accepted from Day 2 on. Day 1 will see the “Future of Defense Forum” with the participation of around 200 high-level representatives, and in the afternoon a welcome reception will be organised.
When on Day 2 visitors will access the WDS premises a number of new sections will be available. While in 2022 the main focus was Command and Control, 2024 will focus on Space. Recently two Saudi astronauts spent some time on board the International Space Station, and the Saudi Space Agency is pretty active, therefore 2,000 m2 in Hall 3 will be dedicated to the Space Theatre. Technology will also have a special place, while the “Future of Defense Hub” will host all those SMEs that think out of the bow and bring in innovations, which will be of interest for visitors but also for major companies.
Further improvements will be made in order to increase the effectiveness of visiting schemes for delegations, which number will considerably increase compared to 2022, while many logistic aspects, from food and beverage to transportation will also be refined, EDR On-Line understood.