UAE signs over $5bn in deals at arms fair
24 Feb 2017 - 0:11
Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates announced yesterday it signed contracts worth a total of more than $5bn to purchase weaponry during its international arms fair in Abu Dhabi this week.
The four-day International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), which kicked off Sunday, is one of the largest arms fairs in the Middle East. It is held every two years to showcase the latest in defence technologies and innovations.
The UAE, a longtime client of Western defence industries, signed an order with Raytheon of the United States worth more than $740m but also with Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport for anti-tank missiles valued at $710m.
The final day on Wednesday resulted in contracts worth $930m, organisers said, raising the total for the four days to $5.2bn. Oil-rich UAE is a key partner in the Saudi-led Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after Shia Houthi rebels stormed the capital Sana'a and advanced on second city Aden.
It is also seen as an important regional ally in the US-led coalition's fight against the jihadist Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.