U.S.-U.A.E. Relations on Display at 2019 Dubai AirshowNovember 26, 2019
The 2019 Dubai Airshow concluded on November 21st, with a total of $54.5 billion in deals and record attendance, highlighting both the continued importance of this Airshow to the global aviation industry and the investments that U.A.E. airlines are continuing to make into their growing fleets. This week-long Airshow also showcased the strong U.S.-U.A.E. aerospace and defense relationship, which serves as one of the bedrocks of bilateral relations.
During the Airshow, U.S. aerospace giant Boeing signed several contracts and agreements including:
- A purchase agreement from Emirates for 30 787 Dreamliner airplanes valued at $9 billion.
- An agreement with Etihad Airways that one of the airline’s 787 Dreamliners will serve as a flying laboratory for testing procedures and initiatives that could further reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
- A purchase of 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes with a list price value of $3.6 billion from Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier.
- A purchase from SunExpress, a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, of 10 Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes valued at $1.2 billion.
- A purchase from Biman Bangladesh Airlines for two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner worth $585 million.
- A memorandum of understanding with the Republic of Ghana to re-launch the country’s airline starting with the 787-9 Dreamliner with a list price value of $877.5 million.
From L to R: Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stanley A. Deal and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airlines
Additionally, U.S. defense companies signed several defense contracts and memorandums of understanding including:
- The U.A.E. Military purchased laser-guided bombs from Raytheon Company worth $684.4 million.
- The U.A.E. Ministry of Defense purchased ammunition for the Patriot System from Raytheon Company for a value of $355.8 million as well as $20.6 million worth of F16 equipment from Lockheed Martin.
- The U.A.E. Ministry of Defense awarded Boeing Company a contract to provide technical support services and training on aircraft simulators for a value of $18.9 million.
- The U.A.E. Ministry of Defense signed a contract with Advance Navigation & Positioning Corporation for purchasing of Auto Landing Equipment TTLS for a value of $10 million.
- The U.A.E. Ministry of Defense signed a $8.96 million contract with Northrop Grumman International Trading to provide technical expertise for control systems.
- Bayanat signed an agreement with Collins Aerospace to develop advanced aerospace solutions.
Heidi Grant, U.S. Defense Technology Security Administration (left); Major General Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Al-Balushi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industries, U.A.E. Ministry of Defense (right); and His Excellency Mohammed Bin Ahmad Al Bawardi, Cabinet Member and U.A.E. Minister of State for Defense Affairs (background).
On top of the above deals, the bilateral relationship was on display at the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council and Aerospace Industries Association’s (AIA) dinner on November 17 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The dinner, attended by over 400 people, featured keynote remarks by Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, U.A.E. Minister of State for International Cooperation and Managing Director for Expo 2020 Dubai as well as speeches by 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.
The event also included 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.
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
Over the course of the week, there was considerable discussion and commentary about the U.S.-U.A.E. bilateral relationship including by U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President Danny Sebright.
At the beginning of the week, Mr. Sebright gave a video interview to Defense & Aerospace Report where he discussed the U.A.E.’s new EDGE organization, U.S. and Chinese competition in the Middle East, and approaches to deterring Iran.
Mr. Sebright also spoke to Arabian Business about China’s growing role in the aerospace sector and the impact this will have on American and Emirati companies. Additionally, Mr. Sebright stressed the importance of the U.S.-U.A.E. bilateral relationship in the aerospace sector – which has seen more than $150 billion in deals over the last five years and has created 700,000 jobs in the United States.
Finally, on November 18th, Mr. Sebright was quoted in The National regarding the importance of releasing more sophisticated U.S. technologies that would strengthen the Emirati military.Back to News