Market Intelligence
Aerospace and Defense United Arab Emirates Trade Development

United Arab Emirates Defense Sector

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranks among the top 15 defense spenders in the world according to Business Monitor International (BMI). 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranks among the top 15 defense spenders in the world according to Business Monitor International (BMI), and is home to one of the largest specialized global defense exhibitions in the world - The International Defense Exhibition & Conference (IDEX). In February 2021 the 15th edition of the IDEX attracted more than 62,000 visitors, and 900 exhibitors from 59 countries. Despite the pandemic, U.S. defense industry fared fairly well during the show, raking in deals for millions of dollars with the UAE military and defense companies.

  • Raytheon won a $1.55 billion contract to supply the UAE Air Force with platform systems to launch missiles; a $360 million contract to sell to the UAE Patriot missiles; showcased its High-Energy Laser Weapon System, and announced cooperation with Emirati company Al Jasoor;
  • L3Harris concluded a $180 million deal for automated command and control;
  • Boeing earned $31 million for maintenance services for the C-17 simulators for the Air Force and Air Defense Command; and
  • Lockheed Martin signed a Memorandum of Understanding with EDGE, the UAE’s advanced defense group, to explore industrial participation opportunities across the UAE’s aerospace and defense industry.

While the next edition of IDEX is not scheduled for two years, U.S. aerospace and defense companies have numerous lucrative opportunities in the UAE:

  • Electro-optics and electronic warfare systems
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) systems for air, land, and sea
  • Tactical gear, body armor and security equipment
  • Shooting ranges, tactical combat houses, and portable steel targets
  • Earth Intelligence and analytics
  • Armored Fighting vehicles
  • Ships, vessels, and naval systems
  • Satellite and radar systems and equipment
  • Logistics and support systems and services
  • Medical and survival equipment
  • Simulation and training systems

For more information about this sector, please contact office.abudhabi@trade.gov.

03/21/2021