Dubai to plough $15bn into aerospace venture

The government of Dubai has launched Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), a global corporation that will direct US$15 billion, over five years, into the aerospace manufacturing and services sector.

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By  Andrew White Published  February 26, 2006

The government of Dubai has launched Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), a global corporation that will direct US$15 billion, over five years, into the aerospace manufacturing and services sector. DAE will become the holding company for six operational subsidiaries involved in manufacturing and services across 14 industry segments, government officials said. Dubai International Capital, Emaar Properties, Istithmar, Dubai International Financial Centre, Amlak Finance and Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) — backed by the emirate's authorities — will each have equal stakes in the new venture, which will be funded by a mix of debt and equity. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who is also chairman of the Emirates Airline group and president of Dubai's Department of Civil Aviation, has been appointed chairman of DAE. He said the company was planning to form strategic alliances with some of the world’s leading aerospace groups. “We are putting down a marker for the future,” Sheikh Ahmed said. “DAE signals our clear intention to become one of the driving forces of the global economy and reflects confidence in our ability to achieve this. We have a rare opportunity. We must seize it and place the UAE at the heart of the global aerospace industry.” DAFZA director general Mohammed Al Zarouni, who will serve as DAE managing director, said that the new venture’s initial target was to become the third largest wide-body aircraft leasing company in the world. “DAE will expand gradually and by 2015 the group will become a major force in the economy,” Al Zarouni said. “It will emerge as a global leader in airport development and operations.” The company's airport development and operations divisions are expected to focus on greenfield development in rapidly emerging markets in Asia and the Indian subcontinent, by investing in an expansion of countries' existing airport infrastructures. The firm also plans to develop aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations in parallel with the airport group and launch them by the end of this year, with the objective of becoming a major MRO hub for airline operators in the Middle East and elsewhere. In time, DAE intends to establish an aircraft final completion facility in Dubai. The group also plans to build an aerospace university and research and development facility in the upcoming Jebel Ali Airport City, offering aviation degrees and apprenticeships. The city will form part of a new airport now being built in Jebel Ali — expected to be the biggest in the world. The aviation industry should prove especially lucrative for the emirate — the government estimates that some 30,000 new jobs will be created through DAE's activities, and 8000 students a year will pass through the new university.

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