ABU DHABI // Talented young Emiratis are being targeted by one of the world's leading defence companies to be the high-technology engineers of the future.
The programme is part of an agreement between BAE Systems Middle East and Africa and Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi to train students.
"We are looking to engage and get young people more excited about being engineers," Ben Bridge, the company's regional chief, said yesterday on the opening day of Idex, the International Defence Exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
"There are extremely bright and ambitious people in this country and if we engage them that will certainly benefit us."
Dr Mohammed Al Mualla of the university's research and development department said: "Our aim is to engage the industry and produce graduates to fill the gap of engineers and scientists."
Also at Idex yesterday, senior UK defence chiefs described plans for closer ties between Britain and the UAE.The defence procurement minister Philip Dunne said the UAE was one of several "friendly nations" where the UK could base forces for flexible deployment.
And Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, head of the Royal Air Force, proposed a semi-permanent British airbase in the UAE. It "would benefit us from the experience of the Emirati pilots and would benefit the Emiratis from our experience as well", he said.