The business of selling weapons is in full swing in Abu Dhabi where one of the world’s largest defence exhibitions, IDEX 2007, is under way. The five-day event features 860 exhibitors from over 50 countries and will see more than 40,000 visitors, including 95 official government and military delegations.
The world arms trade is worth billions of euros. The US heads the list of exporters. The leading importers are to a great extent developing nations; first in North Africa and the Middle East, after that Asia and the rest of Africa and Latin America.
The United Arab Emirates’ President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, opened the exhibition which is a third bigger than last year’s and which includes live demonstrations of the latest weaponry.
Arms manufacturers from the United States are heavily represented, with 54 companies taking part, including major players such as General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
Ten countries are showing off their armoured trucks, personnel carriers, mobile missile launchers and heavy armour hoping to sign new contracts to supply the world’s militaries.
Counter-terrorism is a major focus this year with equipment used by police, tactical weapons squads and special operations forces on show.