Largest editions of UMEX, SimTEX to kick-off next Sunday in Abu Dhabi

- The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, ADNEC, has announced that final preparations for the 4th edition of the Unmanned Systems Exhibition, UMEX 2020, and Simulation and Training Exhibition, SimTEX 2020, have been completed.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, UMEX and SimTEX 2020 will take place in Abu Dhabi between 23rd and 25th February.

Organised by ADNEC in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense and the Supreme Command of the UAE Armed Forces, the 4th edition of both exhibitions is the largest in their history, since their inception in 2015.

Hosting several leading local, regional and international specialised organisations and global attendees, including government delegations, civil entities and other specialised agencies, the current edition will highlight the latest innovations and technologies in the fields of unmanned systems and simulation and training, as well as areas of artificial intelligence, robotics and the global future trends.

UMEX and SIMTEX 2020 are ideally positioned to highlight the functional and practical aspects of using unmanned systems in our lives today, which can be summarised in the combination of greater flexibility, lower capital, and lower operational costs.

The announcement came during a press conference held today at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre, in the presence of Major General Staff Pilot Ali Mohammed Musleh Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of UMEX and SimTEX 2020; Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, ADNEC Managing Director and Group CEO; Staff Brigadier Engineer Khalifa Ali Al Kaabi, Deputy Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of UMEX and SimTEX 2020 and the accompanying conference; Saeed bin Khadim Al Mansoori, Executive Director of IDEX LLC, a subsidiary of ADNEC; Dr. Hassan Obaid AlMheiri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Accreditation and Education Services at the Ministry of Education; Ali Al Yafei, CEO, Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments Company (ADASI); and Dr. Fahad Al Maskari, Manager of Organising Committee of the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC).

The world-renowned event, with a leading regional position as one of the key platforms for unmanned systems and simulation and training, is expected to attract a record turnout of both exhibitors and visitors. The events of both exhibitions will host a plethora of specialised activities and conferences in the presence of a select group of industry experts.

Major General Staff Pilot Ali Mohammed Musleh Al Ahbabi said, "UMEX and SimTEX come in line with the UAE's vision and Strategy for the Future, in accordance with the aspirations of our wise leadership, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and their brothers Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates."

"The two exhibitions promote efforts to advance concepts of innovation and support the goals of the ‘2020: Towards the next 50’ initiative by elevating future technologies, which affect economy, education, infrastructure, and healthcare industries across the UAE. UMEX and SimTEX also promote the UAE’s position as a global hub for technology and innovation, in line with the global trends towards embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution," he added.

Al Ahbabi stressed that both exhibitions support robotic and artificial intelligence technologies in line with the UAE AI Strategy 2031, and emphasised that their contribution to launching innovative systems and products covering various civil and security sectors enhances the local economic diversification in conformity with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and promotes the growth of the emirate's non-oil GDP towards building a strong competitive innovation- and knowledge-based national economy.

"UMEX and SimTEX, which shortly cemented their status as leading local, regional and global events," he continued, "are the only specialised regional exhibitions for unmanned systems, simulation and training and the recently added border security systems."

"The exhibitions aim to provide international visitors, including government delegations, civil entities and other specialised agencies and organisations, with an overview of the latest innovations and technologies. Across their various activities, the exhibitions will host 200 official delegations, a 33 percent increase in comparison to their 2018 edition," Al Ahbabi explained. He noted that a group of leading national companies will participate in the events, allowing them to showcase their latest innovations and products to decision makers and specialists.

Commenting on what’s new in this edition, Al Ahbabi said, "The current UMEX and SimTEX edition will be distinct by all means, especially that it will be held for the first time in parallel to the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge, MBZIRC, organised by Khalifa University, and the series of artificial intelligence and robotic competitions, which will be run by the Ministry of Education.

"The special conference accompanying UMEX and SimTEX, to be held on 22nd February under the theme ‘Manned-Unmanned Teaming in the Age of Smart Systems’, is expected to see a remarkable turnout by participants, experts and specialist from all over the world," he continued.

Ahbabi thanked the organising committee and sub-committees of both exhibitions, and expressed his appreciation to all national entities, partners, sponsors and supporters of this event. He also thanked ADNEC for all the distinguished efforts they made over the last two years. Noting that all working groups closely collaborated for the success of these special events in a manner that befits the status and the reputation of the UAE.

For his part, Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri said, "The 4th edition of UMEX and SimTEX saw a record-breaking increase in statistics compared to previous editions, making it the largest edition ever. Both exhibitions and events happening in conjunction with them will occupy all Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre halls, as well as the Grand Stand."

He noted that the great demand by specialised international companies to participate in the activities of the two exhibitions is a living testimony to the success of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company in supporting national events in various economic sectors, as part of its strategy to advance the reality and future of this vital sector, and to confirm the position of Abu Dhabi as the capital of business tourism in the region.

Al Dhaheri explained that the number of exhibitors for this year's edition has increased to 163, representing a 33 percent growth compared to the 2018 edition. "Total exhibition space increased by 40 percent, to 25,000 sqm, compared to the space of the previous edition," he continued, adding that the number of participating countries increased to 30, with the addition of seven national pavilions.

Sixty-three UAE-based companies are taking part in the event, the ADNEC Group CEO highlighted, noting that they constitute 40 percent of the total number of exhibitors. "UMEX and SimTEX 2020 are expected to attract more than 18,000 visitors from all over the world, with an increase of more than 50 percent from the previous edition," he added.

The exhibitions’ agenda is filled with accompanying events, where the UMEX and SimTEX 2020 Conference will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre, on February 22nd, one day before launching the main event.

In his speech during the conference, Staff Brigadier Engineer Khalifa Ali Al Kaabi, said, "The conference, held under the theme ‘Manned-Unmanned Teaming in the Age of Smart Systems’, will attract leading experts, academic researchers and global thought leaders to exchange views and explore the challenges and opportunities that emerged as a result of artificial intelligence and the fourth industrial revolution."

Al Kaabi said that the conference agenda consists of four keynote sessions and four panel discussions that host a group of 21 national and international speakers from 11 countries. Some 600 attendees are expected to participate, representing a 100 percent increase from the previous edition, he continued, adding that the four main conference agenda themes were: Human Dimension, Missions and Operations, Industry and Market, and Border Security.

In parallel to the UMEX and SimTEX exhibitions, the Mohamed bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge, MBZIRC, organised by Khalifa University, will take place between 23rd and 25th February. MBZIRC was launched in 2015 as a major international robotics competition that will be held every two years, with total of prizes of US$5 million.

MBZIRC 2020, attracting state-of-the-art AI solutions and autonomous aerial and ground robots, will consist of three challenges and a triathlon type Grand Challenge, all focusing on innovating robotic solutions for smart city applications.

The technological challenges addressed in the MBZIRC 2020 include: capturing and neutralising intruder UAVs, extinguishing a series of simulated fires, and prompt response in emergencies in urban high-rise buildings. A total of 34 teams and nearly 500 researchers, representing the best robotic systems laboratories and accounting for 10 percent of 100 international universities, are preparing for these challenges.

The Ministry of Education is gearing up for the launch of the 6th edition of the series of artificial intelligence and robotic competitions, which was initiated in 2015. More than 6,700 students across UAE schools will participate in this edition, which aims to develop a sustainable environmental platform that plays a major role in activating robot laboratories, promoting innovation, cooperation and international competition in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence and raising the level and scale of global participation in the field of advanced twenty-first-century skills.

UAE students from various levels and private and public schools are familiarising themselves with engineering books and technology sites to participate in the 6th edition of the series of artificial intelligence and robotic competitions. All participating students will diligently and brilliantly work to develop the coding language, fix robotic arms, install cameras, print 3D palm trees among others, with the aim of winning the competitions and finding the best solutions to contemporary problems and win the title.

ADNEC is organising UMEX and SimTEX 2020 in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence and the Supreme Command of the UAE Armed Forces, with ADASI as the strategic partner; Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA) as the Gold partner; the Nation Shield Magazine as the Official Media partner; Etihad Holidays as the Official Destination Management partner and Abu Dhabi Health Services, Co. (SEHA) as the Official Healthcare partner.