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Saudi Arabia’s inaugural World Defense Show to unlock Middle East market opportunities (sponsored)

4th May 2021 - 11:31 GMT | by Industry Spotlight

The inaugural event in Riyadh will bring together senior decision-makers from across the globe at a state-of-the-art 800,000 sqm venue.

This article is sponsored by World Defense Show.

Located at the heart of the global supply chain where East meets West, Saudi Arabia has long been considered one of the world’s leading players and top spenders in the defense sector. Now, amid national economic diversification and regulatory reform, the Kingdom is unlocking that opportunity for firms of all sizes through the inaugural World Defense Show – its first-ever trade event focused on land, sea, air, security and satellite.

Founded by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), the future-focused week in Riyadh from 6-9 March 2022 will highlight the latest technological developments from across the globe – showcasing the latest, best-in-class, current and future technologies through exhibits, live demonstrations, conferences and seminars.

Forging global industry partnerships

Exhibitors will particularly benefit from the show’s Official Military Delegations Program, set to provide valuable networking opportunities with important decision-makers from countries across the globe. Meanwhile, the meet-the-buyer program, open to all participants, will promote collaboration and investment between defense players across the entire industry value chain.

According to World Defense Show CEO Shaun Ormrod, who is spearheading the event along with a renowned team of industry experts, the industry’s response so far has been “overwhelming”. A wide range of global companies and SMEs have already registered interest in anticipation to discover opportunities to enter and do business in the KSA market.

Ormrod said: “Such major interest from the defense community is a nod to the show’s unique proposition – creating an unmatched meeting environment for international industry leaders, at the heart of the global supply chain, hosted by the world’s third largest defense spender, to discuss the future of interoperable defense.”

Laying the foundations for future Defense

On the ground at the purpose-built 800,000 square metre site, progress is well underway too. More than one million tons of earth have been processed in the first week of Phase 2 works in preparation for the construction of exhibition halls, access roads and car parking areas. The show will host over 800 exhibitors including 100 local defense companies, with a series of senior military delegations and officials set to attend.

According to organisers, the first of two halls is on track for completion by October this year. By December 2021, the second hall will be completed along with a new access road, land forces demonstration area and an outdoor courtyard – the central point of access for exhibition halls and dozens of hospitality suites playing host to high-level meetings between suppliers and buyers.

All clearing and excavation activities on the event runway were finalized in Phase 1 of construction, with 89% of grading works completed – paving the way for state-of-the-art demonstrations of the latest military aircraft during the event.

A world-class state-of-the-art venue

Ormrod added: “World Defense Show is the first event to be dedicated to tech-integration across the industry’s five domains, showcasing true interoperability at the greatest level – a topic that has become a growing challenge for defense decision makers around the world.

“A central part of that is our venue, which is equipped with 800,000 sqm of unrestricted area and purpose-built facilities for equipment demonstrations, conferences and exhibition halls.

“The exhibition area will use interactive technologies for product displays, simulations, and engaging seminars on an unprecedented scale. We are also proud to be the world’s first defense event to host a purpose-built runway on site for live military aircraft demonstrations.”

Bringing interoperability to life across domains

World Defense Show’s core proposition and brand is built on the concept of interoperability and collaboration across key global players to bring the future of the industry to life. As part of the theme, each domain will be featured across virtual simulations, displays and live demonstrations, including a dedicated command and control center to showcase how these interoperable systems work.

The event will also leverage frameworks developed by GAMI to attract foreign OEMs looking to do business in the Saudi market, highlighting incentives for investors who demonstrate commitment to KSA’s defense localization program.

‘No better place’ to host a Defense event

By connecting key defense contacts, primes, SMEs, and buyers, World Defense Show has laid the foundations to advance the defense industry and launch an industry-wide front against the challenges presented by ever-deeper defense systems integration.

As the world’s largest defense market for exporters and a key driver of growth, Saudi Arabia offers the international supply chain a valuable hub for trade and innovation. According to Ahmad Al Ohali, the Governor of GAMI, there is “no better place” to host a defense event. Now, as a result of that ambition, World Defense Show will see the Kingdom open its doors to the future of defense – register now to stay up-to-date on all show developments.

World Defense Show will be held in the presence of Saudi Arabia’s key leadership, international delegations and prominent industry decision makers from around the world. To learn more about the show, visit

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