x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

1995: The year the ships came sailing in

40 years of the UAE: Abu Dhabi Ship Building took the UAE's long maritime history into the modern age.

The UAE's proud maritime story took a giant leap into the modern age in 1995 when the Government of Abu Dhabi and Newport News Shipbuilding, the largest shipbuilder in the US, formed the Abu Dhabi Ship Building Company (ADSB).

From the legacy of dhows and merchant ships, ADSB established itself as a key regional player in the construction and repair of commercial and military ships, working on the most sophisticated naval systems in the world.

By 2002 Newport News had relinquished its ownership stake and ADSB was developed as a stand-alone public company, a milestone for the UAE's industrial sector.

Today ADSB is 40 per cent owned by Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, 10 per cent by the Abu Dhabi Government and 50 per cent by shareholders.

The company's Mussafah complex is considered the most highly sophisticated naval shipyard in the Arabian Gulf.

ADSB's specialities include the fast, high-tech patrol vessels, assault boats and corvettes that are key to defending the region's waters.

In addition to building vessels for the UAE Navy and Coast Guard, ADSB is a key supplier of ships to other GCC navies and regional paramilitary units.

The company also builds and repairs a variety of commercial ships, from tugboats to coastal tankers.

* Kevin Brass