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Q&A: How Raytheon Emirates is building talent, tech and defense in UAE
Alan Davis, chief executive of Raytheon Emirates, recently spoke to The Business Year about Raytheon’s newest landed company, now midway in the second year of operation in the United Arab Emirates. The following is a summary of their discussion; the full story can be found here.
What drove Raytheon’s decision to establish a landed company in the UAE, and what can other defense firms learn from that experience?
Raytheon certainly feels privileged to establish a landed company in Abu Dhabi. We have had a presence in the UAE for over 30 years, providing different solutions and systems in support of the UAE Armed Forces. Raytheon Emirates reflects the dynamic business environment that is propelling the UAE and advancing its indigenous capability. We see it as a complement to our existing business, and an entry point to new missions, markets, technologies and capabilities, many of these we cannot possibly imagine today.
What distinguishes Raytheon’s experience and approach in the UAE from other markets?
One of the differentiating elements of the UAE market is the fundamental driver of relationships. It starts with a personal relationship, and from there one enters into business relationships and, eventually, trusted partnerships. We are working closely with the Emirate's defense industry companies. We have close relationships with Mubadala, Tawazun and other key stakeholders, balancing their perspectives with those of our customers and incorporating all these considerations into our business plan.
How does Raytheon leverage its global resources to cultivate talent here, and what role do Emiratis play in the company’s wider operations?
We have been fortunate to hire several Emiratis and will continue to do so as our business expands. They are extremely educated and highly motivated and have been a refreshing addition to our multi-national workforce. There has been a valuable cross-pollination, with Raytheon giving Emiratis experience in our businesses and our U.S. operations gaining experience from them as well.
What has Raytheon brought to the cybersecurity landscape of the UAE?
Through Raytheon Emirates, we offer that capability, which has applications beyond the defense sector, to the UAE market. Civil entities ranging from police forces and airport authorities to banking and financial firms are all exposed to frequent cyber attacks. With its layered cyber defense services, Raytheon is capable of serving a range of industries in the UAE.
What role has Raytheon played in building coherence across the Gulf’s regional defense landscape?
It is important for Gulf regional allies to build and have operational coherence for many security and public safety matters. This includes having a degree of mission interoperability and compatibility across the region so systems and solutions can talk to each other. In this regard, our mission systems can provide situational awareness and satisfy the variety of threats faced by allied forces.
What are some of the most exciting areas of innovation and collaboration you are witnessing in the UAE defense sector?
Raytheon Emirates is working on developing cyber academies as well as a cyber range, where we give the government the capability to engage threats and to defeat them as they emerge.
Beyond cyber, there is a number of outstanding capabilities and technologies in the UAE that are sponsored by Mubadala or Tawazun. Some of the things that Nimr and Calidus are doing, for example, are natural fits that can be blended with Raytheon’s offerings.
How can potential investors in the UAE’s defense sector expect to see the landscape evolve over the next few years?
In so many industry sectors and on so many business fronts, the UAE is leaning into innovation as it diversifies its economy. It is an exciting time for a nation embracing the future. For countries and companies alike, change is a constant. The Raytheon that started 97 years ago is much different today, and the Raytheon Emirates of today will be much different from the one 30-50 years from now.