Driving composite and metallic aerostructure production in the UAE
Mubadala’s strategic partnership with Airbus, one of the world’s leading commercial aircraft manufacturers, began in 2008 with a multi-faceted supplier agreement extending Airbus’ footprint in the Middle East and supporting the development of Abu Dhabi’s aerospace industry. The partnership has since gone from strength to strength and has contributed to the creation of hundreds of aerospace-related jobs for Emiratis.
Mubadala and Airbus’ partnership expanded significantly during the 2013 Dubai Airshow with a new strategic agreement. As part of this, Airbus made further commitments to awarding composite work packages to Strata, Mubadala’s advanced composite aerostructures manufacturing facility.
Strata already provides advanced components for Airbus’ fleet of A330, A340, A350 XWB and A380 aircraft. Airbus also made future commitments to procure raw materials from Mubadala, upon commencement of production at a proposed raw materials manufacturing facility to be established in Abu Dhabi.
By 2018, Airbus' order book with Strata will reach approximately $100 million a year. After gaining the trust and confidence of Airbus by manufacturing high-quality products, Strata has become a leading Tier 1, or direct, supplier, as well as a sole supplier to Airbus on particular parts. In a telling example of the global reach that Abu Dhabi’s aerospace industry has achieved, every A330/340 which joined operation after February 2011 and every A380 after 2012 has components which were manufactured by Emirati technicians in Al Ain.
Mubadala and Airbus also work together to empower the UAE's youth through a joint aeronautics-focused workshop series called Airbus Little Engineer. Designed to engage students through interactive workshops, Airbus Little Engineer aims to ignite a passion for science and technology and promote engagement and training initiatives for youth at a grassroots level in the UAE, inspiring nationals to pursue careers in the aerospace industry. Encouraging young people to develop science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills is critical to developing the highly skilled workforce required in Abu Dhabi’s increasingly diversified economy.