To support the expansion of the UAE’s defence and security industries into promising markets, as well as strengthen the presence of national products and local industries in international markets, the Emirates Defence Companies Council (EDCC) has been tasked with organising the UAE’s national pavilion and official participation in various defence-related exhibitions and events worldwide.
Since its establishment, the Council has rapidly achieved important successes and milestones that have significantly contributed to supporting UAE defence industries and promoting their immense global importance. To get a closer look at the Emirates Defence Companies Council (EDCC), its latest developments, and most important future projects, Al Jundi interviewed Mr Anas Naser Al Otaiba, General Manager of the Council, and had the following dialogue with him:
Could you give us an overview of the EDCC and its operations?
The Emirates Defence Companies Council (EDCC) was founded in 2014 as the national representative body for the UAE defence industry, with the mission of facilitating communication among our members and supporting the development of capabilities in the manufacturing sector. The Council also endeavours to help its members and their partners strengthen their position in regional and international markets by fostering skills and technological knowledge and offering a platform for businesses to share experiences and ideas for future development.
Current EDCC member companies operate in a variety of disciplines, including aviation and aerospace, armouring systems, artillery systems, cyber security, logistical support, munitions and missiles, military vehicles, naval vessels, space and satellites, training and simulator service provision, and Research & Development.
What services does EDCC provide to its membership of UAE defence companies?
Stemming from its role as a key supporter of the UAE defence industry, the EDCC focuses on building channels of effective communication between decision-makers and local contractors to best serve the country’s interests. Furthermore, the Council serves as a forum for developing shared interests, facilitating dialogue between interested international parties and those in the UAE defence sector, and facilitating the exchange of ideas and technological expertise.
Another important purpose of the Council is to promote the UAE Defence and Security Industry by organizing the UAE National Pavilion at international events to help UAE companies network and capture a larger portion of the global market. The pavilion also serves as a display of the top defence industry and technologies created in the UAE.
What makes UAE products appealing to markets in the face of global competition?
The defence industry marketplace is changing and growing at a rapid pace, and as the emphasis on developing local defence manufacturing capabilities grows, so does the opportunity for EDCC members to expand their portfolio of defence products in collaboration with both local and international players.
It is worth emphasizing that UAE-made defence products are well-known around the world as a result of the country’s initiatives that prioritize quality, sustainability, and innovation as top goals for long-term development. We are dedicated to assisting our members and their partners in strengthening their position in regional and international markets, boosting skills and technological expertise, and offering a platform for businesses to exchange experiences and ideas for continued development.
What is the EDCC’s next step?
We are currently focusing on building bridges across industrial actors and emerging enterprises, collaborating with international defence innovation activities, and encouraging thought on new methods to best combine and interact with others and their defence industrial capabilities.
Our membership is also growing, and with the unwavering support of our key stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Tawazun Council, we will continue to expand in both number and influence as we seek to explore and capitalize on the numerous potential opportunities before the defence companies. We will shortly announce a variety of projects and efforts to help local defence companies accelerate their expansion and empower local supplier chains in the defence, security, and aerospace industries.
How would you evaluate your recent participation in IDEX 2023 and other defence events?
We had a very successful participation in IDEX 2023, with EDCC signing multiple agreements and Memorandums of Understanding with key ministries, local departments, and counterpart bodies from various countries, including the United States and Canada. During IDEX, the EDCC member companies also inked supply contracts with a variety of Emirati and international companies, demonstrating their confidence in their innovative products and solutions.
In 2022, EDCC organized the UAE National Pavilion’s participation in international defence events in Bahrain, Jordan, and Indonesia. The first half of this year also saw us participating in the Greece defence exhibition and Turkey. We are currently preparing to attend other local and international events, such as the Dubai Air Show and other defence exhibitions in Thailand and Egypt.
» Interviewed by: ALJUNDI