Milipol Returns to Qatar

Article excerpt

Gina Coleman reports from Doha

Qatar Milipol 2000, the prestigious four-day international military, police and industrial security exhibition, is set to open in Doha on 20 November. By September, 2300square metres of space at the Qatar International Exhibition Centre had already been booked by participants for the event, to be held under the patronage of the Emir, HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani. The exhibition follows hot on the heels of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) summit, to be hosted by Doha from 9-14 November.

Undoubtedly many of the world's most sophisticated security devices will be pressed into service for the summit, providing tight security for the expected 4,000-4,500 delegates. Visitors to the event will include heads of state and ministers from the 56 OIC member states, plus high-ranking officials from the UN and other international bodies.

Security concerns affect everyday life around the world. Police, civil defence bodies and armed forces are not the only groups requiring sophisticated equipment and systems. Business too has its requirements. As technology becomes more sophisticated, and more accessible, industrial espionage has been added to the ranks of criminal and terrorist activities threatening the world's governments, populations and economies.

Milipol showcases a wide range of vehicles, weaponry, security and surveillance equipment, uniforms and ancillary services to meet the global needs of armed forces, police forces and security organisations in the public and private sector.

Milipol gives security organs from around the world the annual opportunity to examine the latest technological developments and innovations in national and corporate security systems and equipment. Previous exhibitions have included such diverse items as airborne surveillance systems, antibunker weapons, high security vehicles, area gas monitors, traffic regulation technology, population identity cards, hydraulic rescue equipment, garments and uniforms, drug and explosives detectors, and radio communications systems.

It will be the third time Qatar has hosted the security exhibition which since 1996 has been held in alternate years in Doha and Paris. Milipol Qatar is organised by the state's Ministry of Interior. Prime Minister and Minister of Interior HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani created the initiative for the exhibition's alternate venues.

Main sponsors this year are Abdullah Abdulghani & Brothers Co., the sole agents in Qatar for Toyota and Lexus. Their stand at the exhibition will also host the hospitality lounge. A number of other Qatari companies have pledged to support the event with donations of cash, goods and services. The Middle East has been appointed as the official magazine. Exhibitors and visitors will also have a business centre and a press centre at their disposal.

Designed for professionals in the business, the exhibition will only be open to visitors over the age of 18 holding an official invitation from an exhibitor or the organisers; invitations and security passes are available by registering with the Milipol offices in Paris and in Doha, or through the Milipol website: http://w.w.w.millipol.com/anglais/qatar/qatar. html.

The first exhibition in Doha received some 7,000 visitors; the 1998 show grouped 245 exhibitors and attracted over 10,000 visitors including 14 official delegations and over 100 international journalists. Colonel Mohammed Youssef Al Mana, the chairman of Milipol Qatar 2000 hopes that this year the event will create event greater attention. Qatar has once again extended invitations to official delegations from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which groups Qatar with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and to the other states of the Middle East and the Far East. France, Russia, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the United States have already announced their intention to mount national pavilions at the exhibition. …