Foreign Direct INSPIRATION©

Foreign Direct INSPIRATION ©

Leveraging Industrial Cooperation to Benefit the UAE Space Industry

Offset projects aimed at developing the UAE Space Program will facilitate new technologies and innovations in AI and 4IR and will further inspire Emirati men and women to pursue and acquire the critical skills necessary for a robust and mature space industry.

The strategic and visionary decision to establish the UAE Space Agency via Royal Decree in 2014, by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will, I believe, ultimately prove to be one of the most important developments in the history of the United Arab Emirates.  

The US space industry, as an example, is mature and has benefited its citizens immeasurably by creating opportunities, inspiring ideas, generating jobs, innovations in manufacturing and new technologies for all industry sectors – everything from agriculture, to healthcare and beyond.  As the UAE Space Industry develops and grows, the UAE can expect to realize similar benefits.

And it has impacted the UAE…

A significant number of global aerospace and defense industry companies have benefited extensively from sales to the UAE and region.   Therefore, it would be useful to further explore how industrial cooperation obligations (offset) can be applied to further the aims and progress the UAE Space Industry. 

In partnership with international industry, offset projects could include Research and Development to address technology requirements and the eventual commercialization of the IP developed for space applications.  Projects could also be constructed around capacity building within the local supply chain as well as mentorship programs between global industry and UAE Academic Institutions to develop the curricula required to prepare young Emiratis to play an active role in the UAE Space Program, which will include AI development and implementation as well as new manufacturing processes and technologies as we enter into the 4th Industrial Revolution.  This will facilitate development of the human capital and technology innovations benefiting the entire UAE economy and enable a robust and mature defense and space industry.

The exploration of space is awe-inspiring.  And the UAE Space Program will inspire Emiratis, young and old, for years to come.   The Space Program will facilitate innovations for all industries and yield a return on investment beyond measure that will benefit future generations of Emiratis and potentially, humanity. And, there could be a substantial role for offset in further developing the UAE’s space program.

This article aims to stimulate conversations on how we can further utilize offset investment and industrial participation to benefit the UAE Space Industry and turn innovative vision into reality for the benefit of the nation.


A Child’s Inspiration…

On May 25, 1961, US President John F. Kennedy stood before Congress and proclaimed that “this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”

How many of you have ever seen a rocket launch?  I grew up in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  My father was a key figure in the US space industry for over 45 years.  I remember as a young child, watching every single Apollo launch – there were people standing along the shore of the Indian River as far as the eye could see.  We were mesmerized, enthralled, amazed – it’s impossible to describe just how phenomenal the experience was for those of us who were there.  Here is a sample of what we experienced:  Rocket Launch .

The exploration of space united America, becoming a quest of pride and patriotism, and one of the single greatest sources of inspiration for our country.

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June 13 2019

AmCham Abu Dhabi Announces Newly Elected 2019-2020 Board of Directors

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. – AmCham Abu Dhabi held its 2019 Annual General Meeting at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers on June 12, where the members of the 2019-2020 Board of Directors were elected and the new amendments to the Constitution were announced. On July 1, 2019 the following individuals will assume roles as Board Officers and Members-at-Large for a one year term that will expire June 30, 2020.

Board Officers:
  • Chairman: Jay Huston, General Manager, Orbital ATK Middle East L.L.C., Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, Defense Systems Group
  • Vice Chairman: Alan L. Davis, Chief Executive, Raytheon Emirates Ltd.
  • Treasurer: Frank Conway, Senior Advisor, Mubadala Investment Company
  • Secretary: Charles Laubach, Partner, Afridi & Angel

    Members-at-Large (alphabetical order):

  • Steve Abdenour, Chief Operating Officer, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
  • Nasser Al Osaiba, Managing Partner, Abu Dhabi Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel
  • Elissar Farah Antonios, Chief Executive Officer, Cluster Head for Levant & Iraq, Citibank – U.A.E.
  • Leslie Bellas, Consultant – Environmental Programs, RTI International
  • Yvette L. Campbell, Institutional Advancement Director, American Community School of Abu Dhabi
  • Rula Dajani, Country Director, AMIDEAST U.A.E. Michael Dishman, Senior Managing Director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Oshkosh Defense
  • Mike Hanlin, F-16 Program Manager – Middle East & North Africa, Lockheed Martin Global Inc.
  • Christian Lenoble, President & U.A.E. Lead Country Manager, Exxon (Al Khalij) Inc.
  • Kim Schofield, Managing Partner, O2K Ltd.
  • Dareen Zoughbi, Senior Director, Eastern Growth Markets, GE Healthcare, General Electric

The Annual General Meeting was kicked off with opening remarks by Executive Director Liz Beneski. Chairman Sharief Fahmy provided the Call to Order and an overview of AmCham Abu Dhabi. Following his remarks, Board Committee Chairs reported on their accomplishments over the last 12 months. The committees included Finance, Programs, Women in Business, Roundtables, U.S. – U.A.E. Public Affairs, Legal Affairs, Membership and Arts, Culture & Education. In addition, the 2019 Membership Directory was unveiled.

Sharief Fahmy, AmCham Abu Dhabi Chairman 2016 – 2019

Sharief Fahmy, on behalf of the 2018-2019 Board of Directors, acknowledged AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Falcon Club and Platinum Members, for their significant contributions to AmCham Abu Dhabi. In addition, the Board of Directors expressed their appreciation to Dr. Qaiser Anis and the Nominating Committee Members Josh Dobbs and Hana Al Kathib for their work putting together a slate of outstanding candidates. Furthermore, they extended their gratitude to Platinum Member Alliott Hadi Shahid Chartered Accountants who verified all votes and to all the Members of AmCham Abu Dhabi who participated in the 2019-2020 Board elections and attended the Annual General Meeting.

From Left to Right: Dareen Zoughbi, Senior Director, Eastern Growth Markets, GE Healthcare, General Electric; Christian Lenoble, President & U.A.E. Lead Country Manager, Exxon (Al Khalij) Inc.; Mike Hanlin, F-16 Program Manager – Middle East & North Africa, Lockheed Martin Global Inc.; Rula Dajani, Country Director, AMIDEAST U.A.E.; Nasser Al Osaiba, Managing Partner, Abu Dhabi Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel; Frank Conway, Senior Advisor, Mubadala Investment Company; Jay Huston, General Manager, Orbital ATK Middle East L.L.C., Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, Defense Systems Group; Alan L. Davis, Chief Executive, Raytheon Emirates Ltd.; Elissar Farah Antonios, Chief Executive Officer, Cluster Head for Levant & Iraq, Citibank – U.A.E.; Leslie Bellas, Consultant – Environmental Programs, RTI International; Yvette L. Campbell, Institutional Advancement Director, American Community School of Abu Dhabi and Michael Dishman, Senior Managing Director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Oshkosh Defense.