The Boeing Company shares a long-standing relationship with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is home to Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and flydubai.
From air transport and aviation support services to defense and satellite systems, Boeing has worked closely with UAE civil and defense authorities to achieve the country’s objectives and ambitions. Boeing values its relationships and partnerships in the region and is committed to building on those relationships for mutual benefit into the future.
The UAE has emerged as a global air transport hub, thanks to its unique geographical position and a strategically planned approach to growing its aviation sector. Over the past few years, its airlines have grown in both influence and reach and currently operate scheduled passenger and cargo flights to more than 140 destinations on six continents.
In 1999, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, which was then known as Integrated Defense Systems, established an office in Abu Dhabi. Since then, Boeing has strengthened its presence in the country. In 2005, Boeing established its headquarters for Boeing Middle East in Dubai.
Bernard Dunn was appointed president of Boeing Middle East, North Africa and Turkey in May 2015. He is based in Dubai.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Since 1977, the UAE has ordered more than 600 Boeing aircraft, including both direct purchase and leases. Boeing airline customers in the country include Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and flydubai as well as aircraft lessor Dubai Aerospace Enterprise.
Dubai-based Emirates Airline is currently the world’s largest operator of the 777 with about 160 of the airplanes in its fleet. In August 2016, Emirates Airline marked the 20th anniversary of receiving its first 777 airplane. The airline is also a launch customer for the 777X, which it ordered at the Dubai Airshow in 2013, breaking a record for the single largest airplane order ever in the world. The order comprised a combination of 115 777-9s and 35 777-8s, plus purchase rights for an additional 50 airplanes. Emirates will be the first airline to receive the 777X.
At the Dubai Airshow 2017, Emirates ordered 40 787-10s, which will be the first medium-sized airplanes in its fleet.
Etihad Airways is now Boeing’s largest 787 customer in the Middle East (and one of the biggest 787 airline customers globally) with a total order of 71 Dreamliners, including 30 787-10s that the airline ordered in 2013. The airline was also a launch customer for the 777X with an order of 25.
One of the UAE’s fast-growing carriers, flydubai became the region’s largest customer for the Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 when it placed an order for 50 airplanes in 2008. Subsequently, in 2013, flydubai ordered 75 737 MAXs and continued as an all-Boeing operator. In July 2017, flydubai took delivery of its first 737 MAX 8 airplane.
At the 2017 Dubai Airshow, flydubai struck another landmark agreement with Boeing for up to 225 737 MAX airplanes, representing the largest-ever single-aisle jet order from a Middle East carrier — by number of airplanes and total value. Boeing provides technical support for its customers in the UAE through the Dubai-based Boeing Service Center. The center is one of eight spares distribution facilities Boeing has worldwide and houses approximately $25 million worth of parts and an inventory of more than 26,000 items that are shipped around the region to service airline customers. In addition, a regional spares manager and six field service offices in the region provide aftersales support, and 15 Boeing field service representatives provide on-site support to Commercial Airplanes customers.
Boeing has forecast that the Middle East will require 3,350 new airplanes, worth an estimated $730 billion, over a 20-year period from 2016 to 2035. Forty-five percent of that demand will be for single-aisle airplanes, 53 percent will be for small, medium and large widebody airplanes and the remaining 2 percent will be for regional jets.
Defense, Space & Security
The Defense, Space & Security business unit of Boeing provides military aircraft, network and space systems, and services and support to Boeing and non-Boeing platforms to customers around the globe. The Defense, Space & Security presence in the UAE goes back to 1999, when it established an office in Abu Dhabi.Today, Defense, Space & Security offers its customers and partners a portfolio of products,
systems, services and solutions, including products from Boeing Military Aircraft, Network and Space Systems, and Global Services.
Defense, Space & Security products provided to the UAE include the AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook helicopters, plus unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems. In addition, the UAE’s Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications operates three Boeing 702 satellites. UAE also operates eight C-17 Globemaster III heavy-lift aircraft.
Defense, Space & Security continues to partner and pursue opportunities with a number of Middle East organizations to help craft the future of aerospace in the region. Boeing remains committed to strengthening these industrial partnerships while exploring new opportunities.
Boeing Capital Corporation
As a wholly owned subsidiary, Boeing Capital Corporation creates financing solutions for customers that purchase the company’s commercial airplane and defense products. As the company’s investment bank, it works closely with third-party financing sources that provide nearly all of the financing support required by Boeing customers. Boeing Capital also manages the company’s $3.5 billion portfolio of commercial airplanes.
Boeing has distinguished itself in the region among aircraft manufacturers by working closely with Middle East financiers. As a result, the region’s support for Boeing aircraft deliveries has essentially doubled in the last two years. Boeing regularly organizes events in the Middle East that are designed to engage the region’s finance community. Since 2006, it has hosted annual airline planning seminars for financiers in the UAE and other Middle East countries, and its Middle East financiers and investors’ conference has become an annual event.
In 2012, Boeing entered into the region’s first working-together agreement for aircraft financing and leasing cooperation with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD). Through this association, the region’s highly successful first Chief Risk Officer Summit for airlines and investors was held that year.
In 2015, Boeing Capital appointed Ahsen Rajput to the position of deputy managing director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. Rajput is based in Abu Dhabi and is Boeing Capital’s first local hire in the region.
Last revised November 2017.