Interview with Andrew Pearcey, Chief Executive Officer at WDS

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Q: Can you summarize the success of the World Defense Show’s second edition?

A: Absolutely, we are thrilled with the success of WDS 2024. We’ve seen an incredible increase in size and scope, with more exhibitors, larger exhibition spaces, and exciting new programs like the Journey to the Future, Future of Defense Hub, and Defense Space Arena. Additionally, our dynamic daily displays have been expanded and livestreamed for everyone to enjoy. With over 773 exhibitors from more than 75 countries, we’re expecting record-breaking attendance over the extended five days.

Q: How does the World Defense Show contribute to the localization goals of Vision 2030?

A: The success of WDS underscores its vital role in achieving the goals of Vision 2030, particularly in economic diversification and employment opportunities. We’re committed to supporting Saudi Arabia’s aim of localizing more than 50% of military expenditure by 2030. Through initiatives like the Meet the KSA Government Program and Future Talent Program, we provide pathways for companies to invest in the KSA defense sector and contribute to Vision 2030 while also fostering global collaboration in the defense industry.

Q: Could you highlight some of the new and enhanced features of this year’s show?

A: Certainly! WDS 2024 introduces several exciting features, including the Journey to the Future, showcasing over 80 product debuts and new technology launches. We’ve also introduced Aida, a digital guide to help visitors navigate the exhibition and discover innovative exhibitors. Our Future Talent Program connects thousands of STEM students to defense sector opportunities, building Saudi’s future talent pipeline. Additionally, we’ve expanded our B2B Connect program to facilitate efficient networking and business connections over three days.

Q: What can attendees expect from the Defense Space Arena at WDS 2024?

A: The Defense Space Arena is a groundbreaking addition to WDS, reflecting the rapid growth and importance of space in the defense industry. It brings together pioneers in space exploration and technology, fostering international collaboration and showcasing the role of space in national security. With interactive exhibits and the Space Amphitheater hosting industry speakers and panels, the Defense Space Arena is a focal point of innovation and inspiration for the future of defense.

Q: Any sneak peeks into what we can anticipate for the World Defense Show 2026?

A: While we’re still celebrating the success of WDS 2024, we’re already looking ahead to 2026 with great excitement. As the premier global platform for the defense industry, we’re committed to pushing boundaries, fostering innovation, and facilitating collaboration.

Andrew Pearcey, Chief Executive Officer at WDS
Andrew Pearcey, Chief Executive Officer at WDS