With 20 months to go, 50 pc of World Defense Show 2026 sold

Saudi Arabian defence industry attracts global attention

Defence & Aerospace

June 19, 2024

/ By / Paris

With 20 months to go, 50 pc of World Defense Show 2026 sold

World Defense Show 2026 being organised by the Saudi Arabian government in Riyadh has registered huge early demand from international exhibitors

The organisers of the World Defense Show, the primary defence industry show in Saudi Arabia, say that about half the floorspace for the exhibition’s next edition, slated for 2026 in Riyadh, is already sold. The organisers are also participating at the ongoing terrestrial defence show, Eurosatory 2024, in Paris.

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Following the success of its second edition in February 2024, World Defense Show 2026, a leading defence industry show organised by the Saudi Arabian government in Riyadh, has registered huge early demand from international exhibitors, with half the floorspace for the event already sold.

According to a press statement issued by the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), an organisation of the Saudi Arabian government that organises the World Defence Show (WDS), the last edition of the World Defense Show 2024 saw a record number of 773 exhibitors.

The statement adds that despite being showcased on an expanded floorspace, WDS2024 had sold out six months before the event opened. GAMI says that the third edition of WDS looks to be selling even faster and expects greater demand from exhibitors, visitors and delegations.

Andrew Pearcey

Andrew Pearcey

“The demand has been phenomenal. Just four months after the second edition of the show closed, to global industry approbation, we have already sold 50 pc of the floorspace for the third edition. Many of the industry’s leading multi-domain businesses booked their stands for 2026 during the 2024 event. I am in no doubt that World Defense Show 2026, will be an essential event for global companies across the defense supply chain,” says Andrew Pearcey, Chief Executive Officer, World Defense Show.

The statement adds that the WDS team will be attending Eurosatory, that is currently ongoing in Paris, giving potential exhibitors an opportunity to find out more about the 2026 event, and book their space, while it is still available.

The third edition will take place from February 8-12, 2026 in Riyadh, say the organisers, adding that the event, covering every sector and tier of the defence industry, will deliver networking programmes with high-profile attendees, live air and ground displays of advanced defense solutions, and knowledge-sharing segments that will generate opportunities for local and global military industries sectors at the centre of the global supply chain.

“This news further cements our position as the emerging global hub for the defence industry. We have grown each year, in the size of our event, in the number of exhibitors and visitors, but also in the depth and breadth of expertise and influence of those taking part in our panels, presentations and discussions,’’ says Pearcey.

“Our impact is effected in two ways, as a gateway to partnership and collaboration with the Saudi Arabian defence industry, but more importantly as a truly global networking and policymaking event, welcoming senior delegations from around the world to meet representatives of the international defense industry in a confidential and impartial setting,” he adds.

The organisers say that WDS 2026 will see the return of many of the event’s popular networking features and programmes, including the highly successful ‘Meet the KSA Government’ programme, which shares the latest developments on the Kingdom’s business guidelines, investment requirements and partnership processes.

The show’s growing ‘Delegations Programme’ will also return. In 2024, the programme matched high-ranking officials from 441 delegations representing 112 countries to exhibitors looking to expand into their specific markets. And the extended B2B Connect will once again facilitate meetings between buyers and suppliers across the supply chain.

Founded by Saudi Arabia’s defence industry regulator, the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), WDS serves as the global stage for innovation and technological advancement in the defense industry across four key domains: air, land, sea and security.

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