UAE launches new defence company Edge

The UAE on Tuesday announced the launch of its newest and largest defence company – Edge.

The new defence company was inaugarated in Abu Dhabi by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The new company will be tasked with coming up with the latest defence technologies aimed at combatting what it calls modern types of hybrid warfare.

Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and Managing Director of EDGE, said Abu Dhabi’s new defence firm, which was launched on Tuesday, will invest extensively in research and development (R&D), working closely with front-line operators to design and deploy practical solutions that address real world challenges.

Al Bannai has been appointed to lead EDGE, based on his start-up background and proven track record in leveraging emerging technologies to expand business opportunities at home and abroad.

He added: “The solution to address hybrid warfare, lies at the convergence of innovations from the commercial world and the military industry. Established with a core mandate to disrupt an antiquated military industry generally stifled by red tape, EDGE is set to bring products to market faster and at more cost-effective price points.”

All of the 25 companies under EDGE are UAE-based and locally owned companies working in the defence or security sector, with some of them involving locally-based companies with international joint ventures.

“All the companies that are under Edge are either 100 per cent companies — which mean they’re 100 per cent owned by Edge, or we might have some of the companies that are joint ventures with either local or international partners.

“All of the companies are companies that cater to the defence and security sector, so we’re not in the general line of business, they either have to cater for the defence or security,” he added.

Al Bannai also said that the revenue of the company starting from the day of its launch was over $5 billion, a number they would like to substantially increase over the next coming years. “We have 25 companies [under Edge] and today we do have a revenue of over $5 billion … Where we will be in a year or from now we’re looking to dramatically grow the size of this organisation.”

“We are now exploring every opportunity of where we need to invest [and] how much do we want to put in each field in this regard. In due time you will start hearing on a number of initiatives we’re putting in place,” he added.

Al Bannai stressed that the company was focused on the speed of introducing its defence technologies, and that bureaucracy would not get in its way.