The UAE is looking to use a technology transfer policy to help Emirati companies catch up and position themselves in areas that are seen by many as the future of the aerospace defence industry.
In particular, the country wants to become self sufficient in space, artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing and information technologies, said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum at the Dubai International Air Chiefs conference on 16 November. Al Maktoum is the chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman and chief executive of the Emirates Group.
As part of that push, the UAE unveiled a new defence conglomerate called Edge on 5 November. The company was formed by bringing together 25 of the nation’s defence firms.
“More Emirati defence and security companies were integrated over the past couple of years, and more will also soon be born in the near future to make the UAE a player in the development and utilisation of home-grown security and defence capabilities,” says Al Maktoum. “The UAE welcomes partnerships with international companies that are willing to share technology and penetrate markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.”
This year, the conference brought together several top air force bosses from NATO, including generals from the US Air Force, Royal Air Force and French air force, with their counterparts in Middle Eastern countries.
Many of the technologies that Al Maktoum highlighted in his speech, including space, AI and information technologies, were noted by Western air chiefs as enabling the future of air warfare.