Milipol Qatar 2008 was officially opened by H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar. He was accompanied by the Minister of Defence of China, and the Ministers of Interior of Algeria and Cyprus. The Ministry of Interior also announced at a press conference that contracts worth QR130mn were signed between its representatives and four major companies on the 1st day of the show. While much hard work was required to reach that point, Milipol continues to confirm its position as not only one of the leading international showcases of innovative products and services for the global public security sector, but an exhibition that is successful for the attendees.
Milipol is an answer to questions formed during the Cold War, and those questions have evolved over the years to focus the Milipol exposition into deeper layers of professional security needs. Security services were already at work in the wings, fighting against such growing menaces as international criminality, drugs, organized crime, terrorism, as well as industrial and economic espionage. As the 1990s progressed, security services grew more essential on the international scene and the professionalism of their intelligence gathering, weapons, and response ability needed to mature.
Milipol is from a French based exhibition group that sponsors two main shows that are now in staggered years. One year will be Milipol Paris, which has been held since 1984 and biannual since 1995, the next year, Milipol Qatar, which had its 7th edition in 2008. In 1995, the year Milipol went biannual, the exposition achieved a new dimension of considerable importance: official sponsorship from the French Government. It was now held under the aegis of the French Ministry of the Interior, and the Milipol Paris Show became an official event, along the same lines as the international Eurosatory exhibitions for land armament, Euronaval for naval equipment and the Paris-Le Bourget Aeronautics-Aerospace Exibition.
This year, there were 9 national pavilions which gathered exhibitors from their respective countries: France (32), Germany (15), Italy (8), UK (10), USA (18) all returned to the show, as well as 4 new groups this year: Brazil (3), Qatar (8), Singapore (5), South Africa (3).
Some basic statistics of Milipol Qatar 2008:
– 4,938 professional visitors (an increase of 33% compared to 2006)
– 260 exhibitors from 37 countries (10 new represented countries)
– 4 Qatari governmental bodies exhibited their expertise
– 9 national pavilions
– 127 journalists
– 128 official delegates from the Middle East, USA, Asia and Europe.
The exhibition is reserved for professionals. Access is only available with an official invitation card from an exhibitor or from the organizer or with an electronic badge. Anybody having an invitation card will have a visitor badge valid throughout the exhibition. Security professionals can also register on line (when available) to receive an e-badge. The exhibition entrance is only for public and industrial military and security professionals; the organizer reserves the right not to authorize access to non-trade visitors. Proof of identity is required with the badge. Minors under age 18 are not allowed to visit Milipol Qatar.