DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES  27 August 2018- Interview with Firaz Tirapore, CEO of  Dubai government backed Dubai Aerospace Enterprise at his office in DIFC, Dubai. Leslie Pableo for The National for Sarah Townsend story
“The current supply situation is impacting rental levels negatively and making them inconsistent with the acquisition prices of aircraft,” Mr Tarapore said. Leslie Pableo for The National 

Exclusive: Dubai Aerospace Enterprise to double fleet by 2030, CEO says

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, the Middle East's biggest aircraft lessor, plans to double its fleet over the coming decade from 375 planes, as it expands after the acquisition of Ireland's Awas last August, its chief executive said.

Dubai government-owned DAE is in talks with plane makers Boeing and Airbus for a potential multibillion dollar order of about 400 narrow-body jets, said Firoz Tarapore.

"If you look at where we are today size-wise and in terms of industry evolution – the technology changes going through the fleets – we have to sell about 300 aircraft and buy about 500 new aircraft over the next eight to 10 years," he said.

"It is very reasonable to say that the business should be at least two times what it is today, by the end of that period."

The company hopes to place the order “when the pricing and timing is right”, Mr Tarapore said, but added that discussions are taking longer because of market conditions.

"The current supply situation is impacting rental levels negatively and making them inconsistent with the acquisition prices of aircraft," he said.

The new order would be restricted to the popular narrow-body planes for which the lessor sees the greatest demand – principally, Boeing’s 737Max and the Airbus 320neo.

DAE is also scouting for new acquisitions and preparing for a "large liquidity event" in the next two months. The company was reportedly in talks to issue a $500 million sukuk next year, but that issuance may be sooner, Mr Tarapore said.

"You will see us evaluate a large unsecured debt issuance, or a sukuk, or another form of alternative liquidity, and this will be a 2018 event, not a 2019 one," he said. "It will be to improve the unsecured portion of our borrowing on existing leverage."

The issuance will be benchmark size ($500m or more), as DAE seeks to win an investment grade rating. Ratings agencies S&P and Moody's upwardly revised DAE's corporate credit rating this month on "successful" integration of Dublin lessor Awas.

The acquisition raised DAE's portfolio to about 400 aircraft worth $14 billion. DAE's owned fleet is worth $11bn to $12bn, Mr Tarapore said, and will double over the next eight to 10 years to around $22.4bn.

Aircraft leasing is an increasingly competitive business as the commercial aviation industry grows and airlines come under pressure to expand as well as restructure their fleet.

Globally, more than 42,700 new planes worth $6.3 trillion will be required over the next two decades, presenting a total market opportunity of $15tn, according to Boeing’s latest commercial outlook in July.


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In the Middle East – which, together with Africa and South Asia, represents more than a third of DAE’s client base – airlines will require 2,990 new aircraft worth $754bn over the period, as passenger traffic in the region climbs by an average of 5 per cent per year to 2035, according to the International Air Transport Association.

DAE's financial performance has been "very strong", due to internal cost management by the company and an improvement in its industry, Mr Tarapore said. While revenues in the first half of this year trebled year-on-year to $711m – driven by the proportional increase in lease revenues from the new business – net profit rose more dramatically, to $199m from $47m the year earlier, he said.

In January, DAE set up a dedicated asset management unit with plans to build a $5bn portfolio on behalf of institutional investors in five years. The company is on track to achieve that goal, Mr Tarapore said, with around $1.5bn of assets at present.

The chief executive declined to say whether DAE’s shareholders would publicly list the group in the coming years.


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

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Despite the extreme distance, flying to Fairbanks is relatively simple, requiring just one transfer in Seattle, which can be reached directly from Dubai with Emirates for Dh6,800 return.



Gondwana Ecotours’ seven-day Polar Bear Adventure starts in Fairbanks in central Alaska before visiting Kaktovik and Utqiarvik on the North Slope. Polar bear viewing is highly likely in Kaktovik, with up to five two-hour boat tours included. Prices start from Dh11,500 per person, with all local flights, meals and accommodation included; 


Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
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Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
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Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and

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Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

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Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
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Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

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Creator: Jim Mickle
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Rating: 2.5/5


July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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Transmission: 10-speed auto
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Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

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