Saudi Arabia’s World Defense Show 2024 to support startups

Saudi World Defense Show’s (WDS) second edition will be providing a massive platform for small and medium-sized startups to showcase their talents and ideas, as it will take place in Riyadh from February 4 till 8 2024 in Riyadh.

The event will proclaim the growth of Saudi Arabia in the sector, as the Kingdom is now one of the biggest spenders in the defense market, said CEO of WDS Andrew Pearcey in an interview with Arab News.

The WDS serves one of the pillars of Vision 2030, achieving the Kingdom’s goal to localise 50 percent of its military equipment spending by 2030.

“We are doing a startup zone where all of the new SMEs’s Saudi companies and the new upcoming companies with technology can come and demonstrate their products,” added Pearcey.

Pearcey further continued that the show will focus during the last two days on new talents and students as well as show what they can expect to get a career in the world of defense.

The space sector is having a current swift growth, and is proving to be a strategic part of the defense industry, added Pearcey.

“Space is the future. It covers everything. So, space is one of those things, with the satellites, that connect all of the defense industry across all of the domains,” Pearcey said.

Pearcey noted that most of the innovative ideas in the defense sector usually come from smaller companies, as the upcoming WDS will serve as an opportunity to provide these startups a space to showcase the technologies they developed.

The second edition of WDS will have a B2B Connect program, where suppliers and buyers can meet each other and proceed with business, Pearcey mentioned.

The event will also have another program named KSA: meet the government, in which international partners will be engaging with Saudi officials and getting involved in the Saudi market.

The show in 2024 will witness new participation from countries like Denmark and Turkiye, while countries who were part of the first edition are expected to double their size in the show, added Pearcey.

The second edition of the show will be portraying futuristic technologies in the defense sector, and will have major leads in the industry being involved in knowledge-sharing, and having getting firsthand information about the defense sector of Saudi Arabia.

WDS organizers are looking forward to have the second edition be much bigger, noting that the first edition of the show was held in March 2022.

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