The Middle East’s largest arms expo ended on Thursday with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announcing it had spent a record amount at the event, signaling continued spending on defense in a region where security is of rising concern.

At 18.33 billion dirhams ($5 billion), the total for deals signed with local and international companies by the Gulf Arab state was the highest at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) since the event began in the early 1990s.

It was also up 30 percent on the previous event in 2013. […]