Mubadala Investment Company's Sanad Group signed a preliminary agreement with Thales on Monday to develop industrial services for airport security, air traffic and avionics systems as it seeks to further diversify its operations.
Under the agreement, the companies will exchange knowledge and work together on regional and international projects, Sanad said.
Sanad will provide industrial systems while Thales will head the design-and-build aspect of the projects.
“Through this new agreement, Sanad seeks to build national competencies and excellence in these sectors, localising the most advanced technologies and promoting the transfer of knowledge through partnerships with major international companies leading in these sectors,” said Mansoor Janahi, group chief executive of Sanad.
Sanad, which currently provides financing, leasing and maintenance services to the global aerospace, energy and industrial sectors, said earlier this year that it aims to expand operations to other verticals.
The Abu Dhabi company said it will focus on providing technology-driven and integrated industrial services as it pivots to new sectors that are in line with the UAE's industrial sector growth strategy, Operation 300bn.
The UAE aims to localise manufacturing, reduce its reliance on imports of industrial inputs and cut its dependence on global supply chains amid the Covid-19 pandemic that has disrupted world trade since 2020.
Operation 300bn, which is part of the country's diversification strategy, seeks to double the manufacturing sector's contribution to the economy by 2031.
“As we look to build a future that we can all trust, it is innovation and knowledge exchange that play a vital role in promoting sustainable growth and creating industries with a competitive advantage at a global stage,” said Bernard Roux, chief executive of Thales in the UAE.
The latest partnership with Thales “also confirms Sanad’s ability to implement its new strategy”, said Mr Janahi, who was promoted to his current position in February to lead the new growth strategy of the company.
Sanad was formed in November 2019 after Mubadala merged three of its units — Sanad Aerotech, Sanad Powertech and Sanad Capital. Two of these are maintenance, repair and overhaul providers while the third is an aircraft leasing and financing company.