Global Aerospace Summit: Commitments to Net Zero and digital innovation shaping a positive future for aerospace, aviation, space and defence

Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates—The sixth edition of the Global Aerospace Summit 2022, hosted by Mubadala, kicked off in Abu Dhabi on 24 May 2022 with around 1,000 C-level leaders, experts and specialists from across the aviation, aerospace, space and defence sectors meeting for the first time in-person since the pandemic struck.

Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi, UAE Minister of State for Defence Affairs, welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of the Global Aerospace Summit in providing a platform for sector leaders to provide unique insights on the future of the industries.

Al Bowardi explained how the UAE has become a pioneer in scientific advancement and development across a range of sectors keeping pace with the Fourth Technological and Industrial Revolution and noted how the country unleashed its potential to become the capital of artificial intelligence and digital technology, and the first in the region in the area of space exploration.

Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Chief Executive Officer, UAE Investments Platform at Mubadala Investment Company, described the UAE’s commitment to developing pioneering new technologies, innovating new products and achieving greater sustainability. Badr Al Olama, Executive Director, UAE Clusters, Mubadala highlighted the success of the UAE’s journey in developing an aerospace hub that includes manufacturing led by Emirati’s and women playing key roles in its development. Al Olama also explained the progress being made in sustainable aviation fuel and in clean energy transition.

Matar Ali Al Romaithi, Chief Economic Development Officer at Tawazun highlighted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, FDI and the Economic Impact actually increased, thanks to the economic incentives that both the UAE government and Tawazun provide for investors and partners. The UAE has made big investments in the aerospace sector and our policies have always been an integral part to this growth. Our focus is on investment in future aerospace supply chains, technologies & human capital.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group focused on the importance of the industry working together to achieve greater decarbonization and reach Net Zero by 2050. Douglas highlighted the success of the airline in making significant progress in achieving increased sustainability.

Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems and President of Airbus Defence and Space, said: “Airbus is committed to supporting the growth, development and advancement of the UAE’s space and aerospace sector journey. Today, we are proud of our extended partnership with Yahsat and Thuraya across critical projects. We also recently signed a collaboration agreement with our partners in the UAE to build and develop a Satellite Assembly, Integration and Testing Center, which is capable of building communication, navigation and hyperspectral satellites in size between 50 and 250 kilograms.”

The Summit witnessed how aligning defence suppliers and customers in strategic partnership roles leads to improved defence capabilities, human capital development, cost savings and efficiencies. Summit speaker Eng. Walid Abukhaled, CEO of SAMI, highlighted during his keynote speech and panel how SAMI is creating jobs though international partnerships, with the organisation committed to being a top 25 global defence contractor by 2030.

Commenting on the summit, he said: “As a fast-growing defense and security player, SAMI recognizes its commitment to being part of this mission and considers its sponsorship of the event as an important contribution toward future-proofing the sector. We thank Mubadala for this esteemed partnership and are looking forward to leveraging this leading global platform to showcase our capabilities, strengthen our international partnerships, and accelerate our efforts to localize and strengthen the defense industries sector in Saudi Arabia in line with the objectives of Vision 2030. We also hope this collaboration will help further solidify the strategic relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.”

The Summit has an exceptional three-day agenda of panel discussions and speeches on the wider aerospace, defence, aviation and space industry. In Timothy Hawes, Managing Director of Tarsus, Middle East commented: “Advanced contracting and enhanced technology is leading to a greater focus on defence partnerships, helping to secure longer-term safety and security of nations. The Global Aerospace Summit showcases some of the most advanced technology and methods for partnerships within the international defence sector. The focus on defence at the Summit helps organisations learn about cutting-edge defence capabilities with valuable input from international partners and governments.”

The interactive Summit program is designed to foster collaboration, encourage partnerships and provide bold, disruptive solutions. In addition, the 2022 event added new elements such as a dedicated start-up mentorship clinic lead by Aerospace Xelerated, and technology leadership briefings, focused on implementation of technology in the aerospace sector.