Beyond the Horizon SOFEX Charts a Course for the Future of Tech in National Security

Ahmad Al Taweel
CEO, SOFEX Jordan

Over the past quarter century, SOFEX has become one of the most well-known events of its kind that serves the global defence community with its exclusive focus on Special Operations Forces and homeland security. “SOFEX today is growing differently as we plan to organise more than one event dedicated to national security. SOFEX is stressing more on the importance of national security, homeland security, cyber security, drones, anti-drones, and artificial intelligence. SOFEX always aims to place Jordan as a hub and a leader for national security and defence,” said Ahmad Al Taweel, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Special Operations Forces Exhibition SOFEX Jordan. In an interview with Arabian Defence, he talks about the successful journey of SOFEX, its importance in catering to the defence needs of Jordan and the MENA region as a whole, the event’s latest edition and its future roadmap.

Over the past quarter century, SOFEX has become one of the most important events of its kind in the defence sector. Can you explain how SOFEX has evolved and succeeded?
This year, as with every SOFEX edition, we are building on the accomplishments of the previous edition to make SOFEX 2024 as rewarding as the participants expect it to be.
SOFEX 2024 is expected to achieve further success and growth based on the fact that the exhibition space has increased by 30% compared to that of the past edition, with a newly built exhibition and convention centre, providing more room for the defense industry to showcase their latest technologies and equipment.
Moreover, the Aqaba International Exhibition & Convention Center now boasts world-class facilities and services that include 175,000 sqm of indoor and outdoor exhibition space, 8 exhibition halls, private hospitality chalets, purpose-built live fire and mobility demonstration areas, and a state-of-the-art media centre. SOFEX will also witness the attendance of the world’s leading defense media, providing the attendees with an opportunity to boost their company’s profile and innovative technologies.
SOFEX now gives its visitors full solutions for special operations forces, it stresses high technology engagement, it creates opportunities for local and international delegations between exhibitors and visitors, and it manages match-making opening businesses for exhibitors and companies participating in SOFEX.

SOFEX attracts major international exhibitors. What are the preparations to facilitate the participation of those exhibitors before and during the event?
We are fortunate that Jordan is the home of SOFEX 2012. Over the years, Jordan has seen major advancements in tourism, services, transportation, infrastructure, and human resources, making it easier for the team to organise such a huge event as SOFEX. The world-class facilities and services that Jordan offers allow SOFEX to cater to the large number of delegates and exhibitors that attend SOFEX every two years. Every sector works hand in hand in Jordan contributing to the success of SOFEX.
As with every large event, we do face challenges, but through the years, we have learned how to overcome them by implementing efficient and effective cooperation among all parties. The dedicated support that we receive from the Jordan Armed Forces and security department play a tremendous role in helping us limit our challenges.
The SOFEX team has gained a significant amount of experience throughout the years in organising such an international event that caters to official delegates from all over the world. SOFEX is proudly organised by an experienced and vibrant Jordanian team who work tirelessly to ensure every SOFEX edition is successful and rewarding.

What are the highlights of SOFEX 2024 compared to its previous editions?
In terms of numbers, countries, and delegations; we have an increase of 20 countries so far in SOFEX. It is the only exhibition and conference of its kind in the MENA region and I am proud of the fact that the number of participants continues to increase week by week, showcasing a diverse range of technology and equipment in the field of Special Operations and homeland security.
At SOFEX 2024, we hosted 98 countries that included military and governmental leaders, decision-makers and exhibitors. The 2024 edition will see the participation of delegates and exhibitors from all around the world, thus cementing SOFEX’s reputation as the premiere event serving the global defence community.

Can you elaborate more on the arrangements of SOFEX this year?
This year, we have planned many side events during SOFEX 2024, like shooting-range events. Visitors of SOFEX 2024 will experience fruitful side-talks with exhibitors. They will experience live demos that we have built for vehicles, shooting-ranges, drones, and anti-drones.
We have worked on increasing the participating numbers of the industrial Jordanian companies specialised in the defence industries to create more collaborations between entities and end-users.

Being the CEO of SOFEX, what is your vision and priorities for SOFEX this year? What is the roadmap ahead?
SOFEX today is growing differently as we plan to organise more than one event dedicated to national security. SOFEX is stressing more on the importance of national security, homeland security, cyber security, drones, anti-drones, and artificial intelligence. SOFEX always aims to place Jordan as a hub and a leader for national security and defence.

What’s the theme of this year’s conference?
The theme of this year’s Middle East Special Operations Commanders conference is entitled “Special Operations Forces, Minimalism, Self-Sustainment, Collaboration, and Adaptability in the Modern Battlefield and Grey Zones”. SOFEX 20204 will kick off with one full day dedicated to a conference that will be attended by Defence Ministers, Chiefs of Armed Forces and Special Operations Commanders from the region and the world.
The conference will provide a platform for dialogue, as well as sharing strategies and experiences, where senior government decision-makers and security analysts will discuss a wide range of issues relevant to global defense, homeland security, and Special Operations. The conference will also include interactive sessions to keep participants up to date with the latest developments in the defence industry.

Other Publications

Recent

Liebherr and ISAE-SUPAERO start CASTOR
12-07-2024

Dr. Nathalie Duquesne, Managing Director of Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse and Olivier...

Liebherr HVAC units for Etihad Rail high-speed trains
12-07-2024

Liebherr Transportation Systems (China) has supplied heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning...

Georgia Army National Guard Chooses MAK FIRES for Soldier Training  
12-07-2024

MAK Technologies (MAK), a company of ST Engineering North America,...

Bhartiya Antariksh Hackathon Launched
12-07-2024

The Bharatiya Antariksh Hackathon being organized as part of National...

Indian Air Force Contingent Participates in Ex Pitch Black 2024
12-07-2024

An Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent landed at the Royal...

Social Media Updates