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Aerospace & Defense Exporter, Oct. 2021

5 October 2021 Tuesday

For the past 11 years, the UAE has been the leading U.S. export market in the Middle East and has quickly become a regional and global hub for space and aviation. The UAE is the best market in the region for ease of doing business and the country has made aerospace investments a key investment priority. The sector currently contributes approximately 15 percent to the UAE’s overall GDP and provides up to 750,000 jobs. As with almost all other countries, the UAE has experienced slower growth due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, but its attractive business environment and focus on economic diversity are helping the economy to rebound and remain a good long term market strategy.
Commercial Aircraft
Economic struggles brought by the COVID-19 crisis, will continue to slow the purchase of additional large civil aircraft from the UAE’s two major carriers—Emirates and Etihad— for the next several years. However, there will still be a strong demand for aircraft parts and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services. Emirates Airlines is the largest operator of the Boeing 777, with Etihad, Air Arabia, and flydubai also having substantial fleets to maintain. Due to its large fleet sizes and MRO industry, the UAE is the top market for U.S. aircraft parts in the Middle East and the 7th largest globally.
From August 2020-July 2021, the UAE ranked 9th in U.S. defense exports, with $609 million in purchases. The UAE is second only to Saudi Arabia, who ranked first globally due to several large deals, overall topping $1.9 billion in purchases over the past year. With growing strategic ties between the United States and the UAE, as well as potential instability in the region, defense exports to the UAE are expected to remain strong for several years.
In the past decade, the UAE has made great efforts to establish itself as an active participant in the commercial and civil space sectors. The UAE has sent a spacecraft to Mars, and had developed “Mars Science City” outside Dubai to help understand what conditions would be like when living on Mars. The UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), are working closely with U.S. industry and NASA to strengthen cooperation between U.S. and Emirati companies and academia. The UAE is striving to also incorporate STEM and technology education into academic programs that will create a high-technology workforce capable of supporting future space research and development programs.
Upcoming Events:
For companies seeking in-person opportunities to enter the UAE market, there are several upcoming events of interest:
  • International Astronautical Congress: The 2021 edition of this show will be held in Dubai on October 25-29, marking the first time this conference and trade show is being held in the Middle East. This event addresses all aspects of the space sector—commercial, civil and military space.
  • Dubai Air Show: Scheduled for November 14-18, the Dubai Air Show is the largest aerospace and defense show in the Middle East, and draws a large attendance from other regions as well.
  • Dubai World Expo: Postponed from 2020, the Dubai World Expo’s U.S. Pavilion will highlight U.S. achievements in space.
  • Tradewinds: On March 6-8, 2022, Tradewinds will be the largest U.S.-government led trade mission and business development forum, which will feature meetings with U.S. commercial diplomats from over 20 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
We are located in U.S. Embassies & Consulates worldwide and major U.S. cities across the country. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist your exporting business.
Meet George Messiha, Aerospace & Defense Commercial Specialist
U.S. Embassy - Abu Dhabi, UAE
USG Leadership and Support for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs)
On September 9th President Biden announced “steps to coordinate leadership and innovation across the federal government, aircraft manufacturers, airlines, fuel producers, airports, and non-governmental organizations to advance the use of cleaner and more sustainable fuels in American aviation. These steps will help make progress toward our climate goals for 2030 and are essential to unlocking the potential for a fully zero-carbon aviation sector by 2050.”
The whole-of-government approach includes “a new Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge to inspire the dramatic increase in the production of sustainable aviation fuels to at least 3 billion gallons per year by 2030” and “new and ongoing funding opportunities to support sustainable aviation fuel projects and fuel producers totaling up to $4.3 billion.”
U.S. companies can apply for support through a range of programs from across the USG, including:
  • The Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office offering up to $3 billion in loan guarantees for commercial-scale SAF projects.
  • The FAA’s Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) Program is “awarding more than $100 million for aircraft and engine companies to develop and demonstrate aircraft technologies that reduce fuel use, emissions, and noise.”
  • Department of Defense “funding, subject to appropriations, to certify the use of up to four additional SAF pathways already approved in the commercial market, as well as additional SAF pathways in the ASTM approval pipeline for warfighters.”
To learn more please reach out to the Industry & Analysis Aerospace Team’s Luke Yanos at Luke.Yanos@trade.gov
Trade Winds, Middle East & Africa
Dubai, UAE, Mar. 6-8, 2022
Join us in Dubai, UAE for the largest U.S. government-led trade mission and business development forum. Organized by the U.S. Commercial Service, Trade Winds will feature meetings with U.S. commercial diplomats from over 20 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, exciting conference programming and plenty of networking.
Qualified U.S. businesses may customize their experience with optional business-to-business matchmaking meetings with pre-screened buyers, agents, distributors or joint-venture partners in the United Arab Emirates (March 8) as well as Algeria, Israel, Morocco and Qatar (March 2-3) and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt (March 9-10).
Visit the Trade Winds web site for more Information or contact Judy Kornfeld and Leandro Solorzano at TradeWinds@trade.gov .
Our mission is to increase U.S. exports, enhance job creation, strengthen national security, promote and protect U.S. commercial interests abroad, and deliver customized solutions to ensure that U.S. businesses compete and win in the global marketplace. Export assistance is provided to U.S. companies who manufacture goods and/or provide services of at least 51% U.S. content. We assist companies in the following areas: International Trade Counseling, Business Matchmaking, Market Intelligence, Customized Services, and much more. Contact Us to find your local International Trade Specialist.
Please direct newsletter questions to Erica Ramirez at Erica.Ramirez@trade.gov.

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