Interview: Obaid Al Ketbi,

How are advanced technologies contributing to greatly improved safety within the emirate?

OBAID AL KETBI: The ADP have invested heavily in technology to facilitate communication, improve traffic and property monitoring, secure key facilities and manage the massive amount of data these new systems generate. The rapid data collection and analysis that these systems enable have led to accurate and timely outcomes and allowed the ADP to stay ahead in identifying potential problem areas. For instance, the ADP have access to a large CCTV system which, combined with other systems, provides the police with an excellent understanding of any situation in any location. Similarly, by working closely with the Abu Dhabi Municipality and their geo-location, street and property identification systems, the ADP are able to pinpoint locations when emergency calls come in and ensure that the nearest resources are immediately dispatched. The adoption and application of high-tech security and safety solutions has allowed for more effective management of policing activities. ADP sees the use of advanced technology as a critical element in maintaining and ensuring homeland security and safety.

What opportunities might be made available to the private sector from the current and increasing focus on safety and security in the emirate?

AL KETBI: The current focus on homeland security in Abu Dhabi has opened wide-ranging investment opportunities to the private sector in security-related areas. These may be classified into four main fields: security consultancy, security system integration, security system development and security equipment supply. The emirate also encourages domestic and foreign private investments in all sectors of the economy, including security. The emirate has developed industrial and commercial free trade zones (FTZs), where 100% foreign-owned investment is encouraged and continuity guaranteed. Further incentives provided in the FTZs include a low-cost operational environment, full repatriation of capital and profits, and exemption from import, export, corporate and personal taxes, among others. In this rapidly growing economy the width and depth of investment in the security sector cannot be overemphasised. The government encourages the private sector to take advantage of the available incentives and exploit the opportunities created by Abu Dhabi’s policy of using the best options available to ensure safety and security in the emirate.

What benefits do international exhibitions provide to Abu Dhabi’s defence and security sector?

AL KETBI: The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) and the International Exhibition for Security and National Resilience (ISNR) provide an opportunity to establish and strengthen Abu Dhabi’s relationship with other governments, businesses, armed forces and security organisations. Both exhibitions also represent useful opportunities for local companies to network, and to contact and conduct business with international organisations that they would normally not be able to interact with. The exhibitions also afford these firms with the opportunity to demonstrate the sophistication of technologies that they have developed. As a result, the UAE has achieved international recognition, which is evidenced by the successful export of the country’s Nimr range of armoured vehicles, Caracal small arms, and ammunition of different varieties and calibres to many countries.

Both exhibitions allow participants to experience first-hand the latest concepts and technologies for the provision of homeland security and the protection of vital installations and facilities. They also encourage and sustain stable economic and industrial development through business ventures and provide a unique opportunity for domestic and foreign investors to identify security and safety areas that are relevant to the aspirations of the Emirate. Clearly, there is a potentially large market in this sector, not only in Abu Dhabi, but also in the entire country as well as other GCC states.