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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Swedish defence company Saab sets up production facility in Abu Dhabi

The facility opens in Tawazun Industrial Park to serve the UAE and the international markets

Visitors at the SAAB stand at Idex.  When Saab establishes operations in the UAE, a new home market is created, from where we in the future can export to other countries as well, said Saab chief executive Hakan Buskhe. Delores Johnson / The National
Visitors at the SAAB stand at Idex.  When Saab establishes operations in the UAE, a new home market is created, from where we in the future can export to other countries as well, said Saab chief executive Hakan Buskhe. Delores Johnson / The National

The Swedish security and defence firm Saab has opened a development and production centre in Abu Dhabi’s Tawazun Industrial Park, a zone for defence and aerospace manufacturing, as the emirate continues to attract international players.

“Saab will develop and manufacture products for both UAE and the international market,” it said on its website. “Other examples of product areas that may be applicable in addition to sensor systems are civil security, vehicle protection and training.”

Tawazun Industrial Park, part of Tawazun Holding, is home to a number of companies manufacturing a range of products around several clusters that include defence-related manufacturing, metal basic industries, precision manufacturing, aerospace and oil and gas support and service industries.

Abu Dhabi is developing a local defence sector as part of meeting its security needs and diversifying its economy away from oil. The UAE was the 14th largest military spender in the world in 2016, at US$22.8 billion or 5.7 per cent of GDP, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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“This decision [of Saab to open a centre] emphasises the UAE’s importance as an industrial and commercial hub for strategic industries and demonstrates Saab’s commitment to serving their wide base of customers in the region and beyond," said Tareq Al Hosani, chief executive of the Tawazun Economic Council, the state-run Wam news agency reported.

Tawazun Economic Council is the body tasked with developing the emirate’s defence and aerospace industry.

"When Saab establishes operations in the UAE, a new home market is created, from where we in the future can export to other countries as well," said the Saab chief executive Hakan Buskhe, adding that "at the same time, this will contribute to the development of engineering skills and creating high-tech jobs in UAE."