The Next Frontier for Israel and the UAE

Israel Aerospace Industries’ presence in the GCC region will usher greater defense cooperation



Boaz Levy, President and CEO, Israel Aerospace Industries
Boaz Levy, President and CEO, Israel Aerospace Industries

Before September 2020, hearing ‘Israeli’ and ‘Emirati' in the same sentence was an anomaly, almost unheard of – especially in the context of the two partnering on security solutions. Yet, today, the two go hand-in-hand like hummus and falafel, or as we in the defense industry like to say – like state-of-the-art systems and joint ventures.

The Abraham Accords peppered the Middle East with fresh seeds, bringing together Israelis and Emiratis seeking to explore mutual interests and dive into business collaborations. Joining the momentum and eager to discover new opportunities, we, at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), leaped through the newly-opened door with a central goal – instead of simply selling products to our neighbours, we are eager to plant joint roots with our newfound friends in the UAE and nearby Gulf States.

By offering our friends holistic solutions and, together, building the infrastructure branch by branch, we have constructed a rotating door that fortifies Israel’s and its allies’ security. Our partners in the region acknowledge the advantage IAI’s cutting-edge technologies have — from unmanned aerial systems and missiles, to airborne radars and robotic land systems, to intelligence, cyber, and space solutions. By transferring our know-how and combat-proven techniques to the local industry, we have made a deep-rooted commitment to sharing ideas and building a stronger shield in the face of our shared security challenges.

Like two olive batches picked from the same grove, the aerospace and defense industries in Israel and the UAE make for natural strategic partners. From strict licensing procedures to ensure an organised and structured process with local vendors, to steadfast commitment to delivering and maintaining top-quality products and solutions, IAI and the UAE’s and Gulf State’s defense ecosystems mirror each other’s golden standards. IAI’s advanced capabilities complement our experience in ‘making in’ other countries, and we are proud to support the UAE’s endeavor for “made in the UAE” security solutions.

Tapping into the UAE’s abundant supply of technical skills, research centers, and highly acclaimed academic institutions, IAI is looking to spur growth alongside our new partners. Joint research and development endeavors will position the region’s leading defense companies on a mutually beneficial path. Just like Tel Aviv and Israel, Abu Dhabi and the UAE are the beating heart of regional joint ventures. As the central hub for international crossings and connections, the opportunities for collaborating and growing together are endless – and have a real impact not just on the region, but on the global market as a whole. Intertwining, our roots can grow together into fruitful developments, which will fortify our nations’ security.

Due to the newly-created opportunities stemming from the Accords, IAI’s presence in the UAE and neighbouring Gulf States allows for tight cooperation with local companies and a direct transfer of knowledge to the local defense ecosystem. Internationally-acclaimed events and industry-focused exhibitions taking place in Dubai – including this year’s CyberTech and the upcoming Dubai Airshow — provide IAI with the opportunity to plant seeds in the region, discover new local and global partners, and turn over previously unturned stones in our journey to design and produce the technologies of the future. Innovation runs deep in our veins, and every exhibition gives us a platform to share our passion and energy with the world, and most importantly, with our friends.

IAI is proud of bringing unconventional thinking to the table and taking a brave stride forward. As the largest Israeli defense company to plant its roots in the region’s hub, IAI is breathing life into joint development, collaboration, and opportunity with our new friends. With an open-door policy, we commit to welcome all potential new partners to build a brighter future, together.

— Boaz Levy is the CEO and President of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a world-class aerospace and defense company innovating and delivering state-of-the-art technologies in space, air, land, naval, cyber and homeland security for defense and commercial markets.


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