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The annual industry blockbuster, the International Defence Exhibition (Idex), opened in Abu Dhabi on 21 February and ran until 25 February. Some Dh21bn ($5.7bn) worth of deals were announced by the UAE Armed Forces alone. That was slightly up on the last Idex in 2019 (it is a biannual event), when $5.4bn worth of deals were signed, which allowed organisers to hail the event as a success. Not everything went quite to plan. There was a distinct lack of senior US officials and American defence firms kept a low profile in the wake of President Joe Biden’s decision to freeze weapons sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, pending a review.
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