ABU DHABI // A growing number of Emirati women are training to work in homeland security, local company representatives say.
UAE companies have a strong presence at the capital's International Security National Resilience (ISNR) Exhibition and Conference, and are calling for more Emiratis to join the homeland-security industry.
Of the 150 exhibitors at the three-day conference, which began yesterday, 52 are based in the UAE.
"We are looking to develop and train more nationals in the field and use their expertise," said Khaled Al Melhi, the chief operating officer of Bayanat, a company in the UAE that conducts aerial and marine surveys for the Armed Forces and various government departments.
"Seventy-five per cent of our staff are nationals and 30 per cent of the Emiratis working there are females."
The UAE is one of the fastest-growing homeland security markets in the world, said Mohamad Bader-Eddin, the show director for ISNR organisers.
"Its capital, Abu Dhabi, is a fitting platform for discussing the global homeland security environments," Mr Bader-Eddin said.
Last year, conference organisers said the UAE was expected to raise spending on homeland security from US$5.5 billion (Dh20.2bn) to $10bn within 10 years.
The UAE company Nimr Automotive, a manufacturer that has delivered 509 vehicles to the Armed Forces, yesterday announced it is looking to draw more Emirati graduates and non-graduates into vehicle design.
The company has recently trained five female Emirati designers, said Mohammed Al Mazroui, its general manager.
"We train and prepare members of our teams in two aspects - design engineering and detailing - and we are aggressively targeting Emiratis to join in the field," Mr Al Mazroui said.
Emiratis make up about 65 per cent of the staff for the local munitions and weapons maker Caracal. About 60 per cent of them are women, said the chief executive Salim Al Matrooshi.
Caracal has young Emirati workers in assembly, design and manufacturing departments for its munitions, pistols and sniper rifles. The company yesterday launched its latest firearm, a 9mm assault rifle.
"The UAE is building up its industrial homeland-security manufacturing base and expanding it," Mr Al Matrooshi said.
That base will be complemented by the development of disaster training and management facilities such as Disaster Management City (DMC).
"The Disaster Management City has been set up to provide basic, advanced, vocational, technical and professional crisis training to all agencies in the UAE," said Khalifa Al Hemairi, the project director at DMC.
The city is made up of 12 zones including maritime, urban, industrial and hazardous materials.
"We have eight wings and 12 zones that deal with all kinds of disasters and crisis situations over a 103-acre plot in Mussaffah," Mr Al Hemairi said.
The DMC is housing a security-training centre which is being upgraded this year before building starts on their firefighting, search and rescue, oil and gas, aviation and maritime zones.
"We currently have 12 Emirati trainers and are looking to expand their numbers with the expansion of the city," Mr Al Hemairi said.
"We are looking to perform inter-agency training and prepare our men and women for all scenarios."
@ For more on EMIRATISATION, visit thenational.ae/topics