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World Defense Show 2024 Inaugurated

His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz at the opening of the World Defense Show in Riyadh [WDS24 press release image]

His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Minister of Defense, has inaugurated World Defense Show 2024 in Riyadh.

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Press Release, Riyadh, 04 February 2024: Under the esteemed patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and on behalf of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of GAMI, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz inaugurated the World Defense Show 2024 in Riyadh today. This second edition of the event, organised by the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) from February 4 to 8, 2024, showcases the Kingdom’s commitment to becoming a global hub for the defence industry.

His Royal Highness toured the exhibition, which features participation from over 773 exhibitors representing more than 75 countries, alongside numerous government entities and leading local and international companies in the defence and security sector. He also viewed the aerial displays, static aircraft exhibitions, and ground equipment in the display area. This royal endorsement of the exhibition underscores the Kingdom’s leadership’s dedication to hosting a world-class event that ranks among the top defence and security exhibitions globally. It also affirms Saudi Arabia’s ambition to be a global centre for organising exhibitions across all fields.

On this occasion, His Excellency Ahmad Al-Ohali, Governor of the General Authority for Military Industries, expressed his profound gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and to His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince, Prime Minister, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Military Industries, for their unlimited support. This support enhances the Kingdom’s strategic independence and backs directly serves the ambitious goals of Vision 2030 which aims localise 50% of defence expenditure. He noted that the Kingdom has begun to reap the benefits of this support, with localisation rates increasing from 4% to 13.6% at the end of 2022. The number of foundational permits and licenses reached 477 permits for 265 companies operating in the defence industries sector, alongside the launch of over 74 investment opportunities for supply chain localisation. The sector’s contribution to the GDP is expected to reach approximately SAR 93.75 billion by 2030, with an estimated total of 40,000 direct job opportunities and 60,000 indirect job opportunities.

He also highlighted the exhibition’s significance as a global platform for defence and security industry experts, manufacturers, and decision-makers. This second edition of the event builds on the successes and achievements of the inaugural edition in 2022, positioning the exhibition as a strategic tool to support our beloved nation’s localisation efforts. It provides an ideal environment for fostering international partnerships in the defence and security industry, aligning with our cherished Kingdom’s vision through technology transfer and skill development.

General Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief of the General Staff of the British Army, receiving a briefing on OVERWATCH Unmanned Systems on the UK Pavilion at WDS24 [© Bob Morrison]

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