ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced Thursday it signed contracts worth a total of more than $5 billion 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 $740 million but also with Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport for anti-tank missiles valued at $710 million.
The final day on Wednesday resulted in contracts worth $930 million, organisers said, raising the total for the four days to $5.2 billion.
Oil-rich UAE is a key partner in the Saudi-led Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after Huthi rebels stormed the capital Sanaa 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.