This week the United Arab Emirates (UAE) welcomes the international aviation community to Dubai for the Dubai Airshow and the market is booming!
Last week, for example, Emirates Airlines welcomed delivery of its 100th A380 and subsequently reported record profits for H1 2017-2018 of Dh1.7 billion. In Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Airports reported that the magnificent new Midfield Terminal in on schedule for completion in late 2019 with the capacity to handle 84 million passengers a year.
This article, however, focuses on the future of the aerospace sector in the United Arab Emirates - what's next and how will it be achieved? One word sums it up and the UAE Government is pulling out all the stops to support it - "Innovation".
With EXPO 2020 on the horizon the UAE Government is investing heavily in providing the infrastructure and developing resources to support research and development in the aerospace industry. They are no longer interested in simply buying the best equipment and talent available, they want it home grown on every level and this presents a fabulous opportunity of the international aerospace community.
DWF works closely with domestic and international clients, the UAE authorities and, importantly, the Tawazun Economic Counsel to identify opportunities for investment in developing next generation technology for the aerospace industry and the possibilities for the application of such technology outside the industry is equally impressive.
Not all readers of this article will be aware that the UAE currently has unsatisfied offset obligations by international defence contractors of approximately USD$30bn and such funds are specifically earmarked for (amongst other things) investment in the development of next generation technologies. These offset funds can be released, in collaboration with international defence contractors who have outstanding obligations, by identifying viable projects for investment approved by the Tawazun Economic Counsel. In fact, the Tawazun Economic Counsel has recently specifically identified ten investment criteria for offset projects which includes electric vehicles (and aircraft), vertical take-off aircraft, drones and drone delivery systems. Indirectly, opportunities may also exist for aerospace technology in the other areas identified for investment in robotics, human enhancement, the internet of things, hyperloop, AI and space exploration (incl. a colony on Mars).
These are undoubtedly grand ambitions, but the history of the UAE tells us they believe nothing is impossible with the right market conditions and appropriate funding. The UAE's list of significant achievements to date is testimony to that belief.
So this week the DWF team will be attending the airshow and we welcome the opportunity to speak with anyone who has an interest in investing in the aerospace industry in the UAE.
We would be delighted to discuss your business, IP, designs, ideas and ambitions for the UAE (GCC) and provide you with the connected services you need to achieve your goals.