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Abu Dhabi to become global aerospace hub

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi is on its way to becoming a global aerospace hub that provides an end product to plane manufacturers such as Boeing, and Airbus, said Badr Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer at Strata Manufacturing, an aerostructures manufacturing facility based in Al Ain.

Al Olama was speaking on Wednesday on the current state as well as his future vision for the aerospace industry in the UAE during the 2014 edition of the Global Financial Market Forum.

“Abu Dhabi is definitely flourishing, and we want to see it turn into the next Seattle in terms of becoming an aerospace hub. This is going to be attracting lots of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), and [the gain from the aerospace industry] could spin off and spin over into other industries,” Al Olama told Gulf News.

He added that there is a lot of focus on the aerospace industry as it is in line with the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision.

“There are nine different pillars for the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision, six of which are met by the aerospace industry, which is very much knowledge based,” Al Olama said.

As matters stand, Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing facility, Strata Manufacturing, provides aeroplane parts for global firms such as Boeing, and Airbus. The company has grown from a $1 billion commitment from Boeing in 2009, to a $7 billion commitment from Boeing and Airbus this year.

With a current staff number of 650, Al Olama said there is potential to have 10,000 new jobs in Abu Dhabi in the aerospace industry in the years ahead.

“We’ve become a strategic supplier now. In the next few years, we would like to see UAE become a tier A supplier to Boeing and Airbus by providing an end product,” the CEO said.

In his speech at the forum, Al Olama concluded by stating his vision of having every aircraft in the world manufactured with parts made in Abu Dhabi.