Tawazun Economic Council fund buys 30% stake in Sharjah boat-maker Al Marakeb

Privately-held company to boost production capacity amid surge in Arabian Gulf demand

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., October 17, 2018.  
Abu Dhabi International Boat Show 2018. -- Dubai Civil Defense speed boat.
Victor Besa / The National
Section:  NA
Reporter:  John Dennehy

Tawazun Economic Council, the body tasked with developing the UAE’s domestic defence industry, agreed to buy a stake in Sharjah-based Al Marakeb Boats Manufacturing as the country pushes to grow its local military companies.

Tawazun’s recently launched Defence and Security Development Fund signed an agreement to buy 30 per cent of the boat builder, it said on Tuesday. The value of the purchase was not disclosed.

The investment will back Al Marakeb’s latest project to develop a multi-tasked armoured boat that is expected to be handed over within the next two years and to develop intellectual property rights for unmanned boat systems, said Abdulla Naser Al Jaabari, chief officer of the Defence and Security Development Fund.

The investment is part of Tawazun’s Dh2.5 billion Defence and Security Development Fund announced last week.

The UAE, a major defence buyer, is seeking to build a homegrown defence industry as part of a strategy to grow local military companies, diversify the economy from oil and create jobs.