Tawazun Economic Council, (Tawazun) initiated the landedcompany concept in 2018, whereby foreign defense firms have been able to establishan entirely self-owned subsidiary in the UAE and fully engage with the defense andsecurity industry. To date the concept has proved effective and is expected to benefitthe defense and security industry and support the national SMEs, with four companiesestablishing individual, wholly owned subsidiaries within the UAE.
One case in point is Saab, who have had a long and fruitful connection with the UAEand welcomed the opportunity to enhance its presence, officially being announced as aLanded Company in 2019 and agreeing on a business plan with Tawazun, as a firststep towards continuous development of Saab’s Abu Dhabi operations.
Saab established its development and production center at Tawazun Industrial Park(TIP) in order to develop and produce a variety of defense and security products.Saab’s initial focus is on sensor systems for civil applications, products within thetelecommunications area and vehicle electronics.
But Saab’s intent is to do more for the UAE. Saab’s planning includes growingits operations and creating many more high-tech jobs to further build engineering skillsin the country. The recognition that a successful strategic partnership between Tawazunand Saab, was one where key technologies within the UAE are cultivated through thedevelopment of local skills and capabilities.
And they started at their center. Today local employees from various countries includingEmirati nationals staff the company. The plan is to grow Saab as fast as possible,develop advanced technologies, establish a local supply chain, build engineering skillsand continue creating high-tech jobs, further increasing the number of Emirati nationals.
Matar Ali Al Romaithi, Chief Executive of the Economic Development Unit at Tawazun,commented: “The business plan that Saab is following also reflects Tawazun’scommitment to the development of the defense and security industry. It is throughpartnerships such as this that we can continue to develop and build up our criticaltechnical capabilities and our national competencies and skills, fortifying the contributionto the UAE.”
Commenting on Saab’s partnership with Tawazun, Anna-Karin Rosén, ManagingDirector of Saab Ltd. said: “Saab in the UAE has seen substantial growth in recentyears, which is testament to the success of our partnership with Tawazun. Hand-in-hand, we are looking forward to putting our research and development efforts into newareas to support the UAE’s ambition of building its defense and security industry andecosystem. We are also excited to be collaborating with Tawazun on training anddevelopment initiatives to help grow Emirati talent in the industry.”
Saab is collaborating with local academia as it seeks to invest in research anddevelopment and is working with Tawazun on the Sustain & Enhance Emiratization inDefense & Security (SEEDS) program, which facilitates opportunities for students atthree Emirati universities and one technical college studying engineering or computerscience.
The Saab story is a sign of success for Tawazun as it continues to encourage anddevelop relationships with international defense companies, creating globally integratedindustry sectors for the benefit of the UAE.
Founded in 1992, Tawazun Economic Council (Tawazun) has enabled the creation of more than111 companies and investment vehicles within twelve sectors, and now serves as the catalystfor both economic growth and the development of the UAE defense and security industry.Tawazun drives economic value through the Tawazun Economic Program and the StrategicDevelopment Fund, facilitating ecosystem growth and human capability development throughglobal and local partnerships, and empowering technology & innovation through the defenseand security R&D ecosystem.
Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs. Saab is an early investor in the UAE having started its business in the 1980s and is using its unrivalled innovation, expertise and capabilities to create world-class Emirati defense and security solutions, for national needs as well as the global market.