Last Updated: Tue Jul 24, 2012 20:24 pm (KSA) 17:24 pm (GMT)

Abu Dhabi to build first commercial jet by 2018

The Emirati capital hopes to become a global aerospace center. (Reuters)
The Emirati capital hopes to become a global aerospace center. (Reuters)

Abu Dhabi will become the first Arab city to manufacture a commercial airplane in a business venture announced by United Arab Emirates aerospace company Mubadala, which plans to build an aircraft by 2018.

Mubadala hopes to make the UAE capital a global aerospace center, joining forces with Italy’s Piaggio Group, Homaid El Shemmari, chief executive of Mubadala aerospace company said this week.

Mubadala acquired a 31.5 percent stake in Piaggio, which specializes in the production of aircrafts and spare engines and component materials for aircraft structures.

The UAE-based company is one arm of the Mubadala Holding Group owned by the Abu Dhabi government.

Mubadala Holding Group was launched in 2008 as part of the “Abu Dhabi vision 2030” which aims to diversify its economy and lessen its dependence on oil revenues from 65 percent to 36 percent, reported the Al Bawaba website in 2011.

Also as part of the “Abu Dhabi vision 2030,” Shemmari expects that airplane manufacturing in Abu Dhabi will achieve a 1 -3 percent increase in the country’s gross domestic product by 2030.

Sky-high demand

According to Shemmari, the commercial aircraft manufacturing industry has received 33,500 orders until 2030, with an estimated 2500 planes ordered for the Middle East from 2011 until 2030.

The official also said that the biggest commercial aircraft markets will be within the-Pacific region, which requires 11, 500 aircrafts until 2030.

“The UAE has a strategic location on the world map to begin to produce commercial aircraft structures that are able to reach 60 percent of the world’s population within six hours,” Shemmari said.

The aerospace official added that Mubadala has launched a company named “Strata” for the construction of aircraft frames. Before the launch, Mubadala Aerospace had studied the global market demands and is now hoping to compete with global industry players.

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