QinetiQ and Middle East General Enterprises, in the presence of Dr Liam Fox, UK Secretary of State for International Trade, signed a new joint venture between the UK and the UAE, at the Dubai Airshow 2017.
The agreement will see the UK-based firm invest in the development of both infrastructure and training capability designed to enable a new Emirati workforce to provide the skilled manufacture of maritime, land and air targets, both for use by the UAE armed forces and for export around the wider region.
Ian Farley, managing director international at QinetiQ, said: “For us, this is a real statement of intent to invest in the UAE to transfer knowledge so that we can hire new recruits and develop local Emiratis to be able to do skilled jobs related to the assembly, test and supply of a target service to the armed forces here in the UAE. It’s the way that we want to build business going forward, where we make investments in local markets in partnership with local companies that we feel provide us with enduring capability.”
He added: “This is going to be an Emirati business, it’s primarily for this market, and the technicians and engineers that are going to be building this product are local. However, this is not just a business for the UAE, nor is it just a regional export opportunity. This is an integral part of our target business globally.”
The joint venture was one of the biggest deals agreed on day one of the event at DWC, with more than $17bn in sales agreed in just the first four hours of opening.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was joined by his son, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and officials from Emirates airline and Boeing to witness the signing of a $15.1bn commitment to purchase 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners.
More than 72,500 trade visitors are expected across the event’s five-day run (12-16 November 2017), representing the entire spectrum of the aerospace industry.