Tawazun-Saab partnership to boost high-tech jobs in the UAE

Tie-up between Abu Dhabi's Tawazun and Sweden's defence company Saab will develop local skills

Saab Ltd in Tawazun Industrial Park, Abu Dhabi. Photo: Saab AB
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A partnership between Abu Dhabi's Tawazun Economic Council and Saab will see the Swedish defence company grow its local operations and create more high-tech jobs in the UAE.

The strategic tie-up will cultivate key technologies in the UAE through the development of local skills and capabilities, Tawazun said in a statement on Monday.

"The business plan that Saab is following also reflects Tawazun’s commitment to the development of the defence and security industry," Matar Al Romaithi, chief executive of the economic development unit at Tawazun, said. "It is through partnerships such as this that we can continue to develop and build up our critical technical capabilities and our national competencies and skills, fortifying the contribution to the UAE.”

The council is a state body tasked with driving economic growth and the development of the UAE’s defence and security industries. It initiated the "landed company" concept in 2018, whereby foreign defence firms have been able to establish a wholly self-owned subsidiary in the UAE to fully engage with the defence and security industry. Saab became a landed company in 2019, agreeing with Tawazun on a business plan for its Abu Dhabi operations.

"Hand-in-hand, we are looking forward to putting our research and development efforts into new areas to support the UAE’s ambition of building its defence and security industry and ecosystem," Anna-Karin Rosén, managing director of Saab, said.

Saab is also collaborating with Tawazun on training and development initiatives to help grow Emirati talent in the industry, she said.

The Swedish defence firm is working with local academia as it seeks to invest in research and development, according to the statement.

It is also working with Tawazun on the Sustain & Enhance Emiratisation in Defence & Security (SEEDS) programme, which provides opportunities for students at three Emirati universities and one technical college studying engineering or computer science.

Zaal Al Mansoori, executive director of industrial development at Tawazun, said that Saab will supply valuable internships that will lead to future employment, benefitting both the company and the UAE's defence and security industry.