The security, aerospace and defence sectors have risen to become an important component of Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification strategy, with activities gaining momentum in recent years. In the aerospace segment, 2016 saw major contracts for new original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and maintenance, repair and overhaul projects signed, which should support the emirate’s ongoing transformation into a knowledge-based economy. Aerospace development dovetailed with growth in the UAE’s burgeoning space programme, which will see it launch a probe to Mars in 2020, setting the stage for commercialisation and additional private investment on the back of a newly unveiled Space Policy. Development of a robust defence manufacturing base is also progressing well, following the launch of new armoured vehicle and protective equipment ventures.
This chapter contains an interview with Khalifa Al Romaithi, Chairman, UAE Space Agency.