U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council & Aerospace Industries Association Host 2019 Dubai Airshow DinnerNovember 18, 2019
The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) welcomed over four hundred executives and senior government officials from the U.S. and the U.A.E. to a dinner on Sunday 17 November 2019 in conjunction with the 2019 Dubai Airshow.
The dinner, which took place at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, featured remarks by Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, U.A.E. Minister of State for International Cooperation and Managing Director for Expo 2020 Dubai; The Honorable John Rakolta, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E.; and The Honorable Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment at the U.S. Department of Defense.
From L to R: Mr. Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council; Ambassador John Rakolta, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E.; H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, U.A.E. Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai; The Honorable Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment; Mr. Eric Fanning, President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association
Mr. Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, began the evening by highlighting U.S.-U.A.E. partnerships in aerospace, defense, and space exploration. He then turned over the stage to the new U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E. John Rakolta, Jr.
Ambassador Rakolta spoke about the importance of the Dubai Airshow as “a globally recognized platform for strategic dialogue in aerospace between American companies and their peers in the region.” He also lauded the U.A.E. as one of the United States’ “strongest partners in the region.” Ambassador Rakolta then encouraged American corporate support for Expo 2020 Dubai, which he deemed crucial for its success.
Mr. Sebright then introduced Mr. Eric Fanning, President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, who welcomed Ms. Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment at the U.S. Department of Defense, to the stage. Under Secretary Lord underscored the close military-to-military relationship with the U.A.E. She also spoke to the need for increased and robust technology sharing with our international partners coupled with closer scrutiny on security, especially in the realm of cyber, stating that the U.S. was in an active cyber war with China. She reiterated the need for international partners to be vigilant about the threats posed from China in this domain.
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, U.A.E. Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, delivers keynote remarks
After dinner, Mr. Sebright introduced the keynote speaker, Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, U.A.E. Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai. Her Excellency focused her remarks on mobility, one of Expo 2020’s three key themes, stating, “Our youth are demanding a more sustainable future wherein mobility will unlock opportunities.” Her Excellency described Expo 2020 as a key moment if we can collaborate, cooperate, and connect, continuing, “At Expo, the world’s brightest minds can collaborate to address some of the world’s most pressing problems”. Hearkening back to the successes of U.S. participation at previous World Expos, Her Excellency said that the government of the U.A.E “can’t imagine an Expo without American innovation, ingenuity, and imagination.”
The evening continued with a raffle draw featuring U.A.E. Special Olympics Athletes as guests of honor. The athletes, who competed at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, were joined onstage by executives from Emirates, Etihad, Rosewood, and Jumeirah whom all graciously donated prizes.
Mr. Fanning concluded the event by expanding on the theme of partnerships, saying, “The global success of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry is underpinned by the relationships we’ve developed around the world with key partners and allies. American civil, space, and defense companies enjoy extensive relationships with the U.A.E., so we welcome the opportunity to co-host this dinner with the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council during the Dubai Airshow.” Mr. Fanning encouraged attendees to “reflect on our past success and the future potential of the strong ties between our two countries and within our industry.”
U.A.E. Special Olympics Athletes take the stage with speakers as well as, from L to R: Mrs. Terry Rakolta, U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi; Leanne Caret, President and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security; Philip Frayne, U.S. Consul General in Dubai; and H.E. Waleed Al Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO and CEO, Alternative Investments & Infrastructure at Mubadala
The Dubai Airshow is a biennial air show held in Dubai. This year’s event builds on the success of the 2017 Airshow, which drew 1,200 exhibitors and over 79,380 visitors from 63 countries and generated an order book of $113.8 billion. By creating a world class exhibition showcasing the latest and greatest in military, general, and commercial aviation, the Dubai Airshow has led to unprecedented change in the industry.Back to News