RIYADH: Around 65,000 people have attended Saudi Arabia’s first-ever international defense expo with SR29.7 billion ($7.916 million) in deals signed during the four days, organizers said.
“Our main goal was to welcome people to the Kingdom to really experience Saudi Arabia and their welcoming nature, and to come and exhibit and demonstrate their goods, and of course Vision 2030, and that has been achieved here,” Amanda Stainer, chief commercial officer of World Defense Show, told Arab News.
Some 600 defense and security exhibitors from 42 countries, took part in the fair, which was set up by the Kingdom’s General Authority for Military Industries, and 80 military delegations from 85 countries also took part, organizers said.
Stainer said aside from the networking opportunities and building business relationships golas they set to achieve, the main highlights were the thought leadership and women in defense sessions, which featured participation from Princess Reema bint Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the US.
“The Woman in Defense Day was incredible, we had some amazing women, not just Saudi ladies, but international ladies speaking about their careers, about how they’ve achieved where they’ve got to today, but also as well, about the younger generation coming through and how they are working within the industry, how they’re achieving that and all about the professionalism within the industry, and the changes that are happening particularly here in the Kingdom for women, and women in defense,” Stainer said.
She said they are now working on receiving feedback on the event to improve content as they have already announced the next event will be held on March 3-6, 2024.
“As organizers, we always think about 2024, we’ve actually got our sales brochures out, we’ve already got marketing material out...but obviously most important thing now is to learn from this and make sure that we deliver the show that our exhibitors and trade visitors want,” she said.