Saudi Arabia’s World Defense Show 2024 will be expanded amid strong demand

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Saudi Arabia’s World Defense Show has received such massive interest in participating in the second edition, that the organizers will expand the exhibition space to accommodate more participants and visitors, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.

The General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) announced that the second edition of the World Defense Show (WDS) will be held in Riyadh on February 4-8, 2024.

The WDS serves one of the pillars of Vision 2030, achieving the Kingdom’s goal to localize 50 percent of its military equipment spending by 2030.

“In response to… strong demand, and as part of the show’s overall enhancement initiatives, WDS organizers have reviewed expansion plans to include a third exhibition hall offering the defense community with an additional 25 percent of exhibition space, to compliment the two existing main halls,” SPA reported.

WDS CEO Andrew Pearcey said: “Since the resounding success of the sold-out inaugural World Defense Show in 2022, we have really been humbled and so very pleased with the overwhelming interest from exhibitors and new defense ecosystem constituents keen to participate.”

He added: “In fact, and in order to accommodate this tremendous growth in demand, we have expanded our venue to accommodate an additional 9,000 square meters in exhibitor space.”

The first edition of the WDS held in 2022 registered military and defense procurement contracts with a total estimated value of $7.92 billion (29.7 billion riyals). It also attracted over 600 exhibitors from more than 42 countries, over 100 official defense and security delegations, and witnessed more than 65,000 visits over the course of the show.

GAMI Governor, Ahmad al-Ohali, said the goal of localizing 50 percent of the Kingdom’s defense equipment and services by 2030 can be reached through “focusing on developing indigenous capabilities in defense industries, technologies, and national competencies, as well as job creation for Saudi youth, and an increased contribution from the sector to the national economy.”

He added: “Organically, [the] World Defense Show is a powerful enabler for the realization of this vision.”

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