The war in Gaza is also taking its toll on the participation and presence of Israeli defense companies at leading defense exhibitions in the world. The 2023 Dubai Airshow exhibition is currently being held in Dubai. CNBC reports a poor Israeli presence at the exhibition, which in its 2021 edition featured many leading companies from the Israeli defense industry.
According to the report, the only visible Israeli representation was a large pavilion for Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), as well as stands for Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. More notable than the pared-down presence of Israeli companies was the lack of staff and visitors; the spaces were typically deserted or occupied by unaffiliated airshow visitors who said they were just there to use the free chairs and tables.
SIBAT, Israel’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate, canceled its participation; an email from the Israeli Defense Ministry’s media bureau said: “In light of the war that began on Oct. 7, SIBAT has decided not to inaugurate a national pavilion at global defense exhibitions until further notice.”
At the same time as the 2023 Dubai Airshow, the Millipol 2023 exhibition, one of the leading defense exhibitions in the world, is being held in Paris these days. In the case of Millipol, the picture is a little different. Admittedly, there are almost no Israeli visitors, but most of the companies that were supposed to participate do participate, with the exception of a small number of companies that canceled their participation. Most of the Israeli companies exhibiting at the exhibition are physically represented through their foreign employees.