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One in every 10 wide-body aircraft globally incorporate components manufactured in Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain

One in every 10 wide-body aircraft globally incorporate components manufactured in Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain
26 May 2024 20:40

MOHAMMAD GHAZAL (AL AIN)


Adept aviation engineering craftsmanship is at full throttle at a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of Al Ain, where for years, high-quality aircraft components for industry giants like Boeing, Airbus, Leonardo, and Pilatus have been rolled out with signature Emirati technological prowess.

Reminiscent of a beehive, the cutting-edge facility of the Strata Manufacturing PJSC, wholly owned by the Mubadala Investment Company, bears the hallmarks of precision, diligence and attention to detail, where highly skilled Emiratis have been playing a key role, since the company’s inception in 2009, in positioning the UAE high on the map of aerospace industries.

With more than two-thirds of the workforce being Emiratis with an advanced set of skills, a requisite for such a sophisticated industry, the facility has grown in numbers to reach 30 production lines from one in 2009, thanks to high demand and partnerships with  industry giants.

Evident from its global reach, one in every 10 wide-body aircraft globally incorporate components manufactured by Strata, where 68% of the workforce are Emiratis of whom a high 86% are female citizens, Sara Almemari, Head of Project Management Office at Strata Manufacturing, told Aletihad during a visit to the facility.



With sustained tailwinds of demand coupled with solid reputation, Strata  recorded a significant and cumulative increase over the past years in shipments and components to global aerospace and advanced industry sectors. In 2023 alone, the company dispatched 773 shipments, comprising 7,880 components, to major aerospace companies such as Boeing, Airbus, Leonardo, and Pilatus, Almemari said.

“Being part of an aerospace industry, this is how we diversify the economy of the UAE and we are expanding our partnership locally and internationally to support the UAE’s overall economy,” she said.

During the first four months of this year – from January until end of April 2024 –  Strata exported 167 shipments, containing 2,636 components, which were delivered to various global clients.

Since its inception in 2010 until the end of April 2024, Strata has successfully delivered 6,069 shipments, encompassing a total of 85,872 components labelled “Made with Pride in the UAE” for renowned aviation companies worldwide.

Strata’s dedication to adhering to international quality standards is evident in the facility’s diverse product range, including the manufacture of components for various aircraft as the A330, A350, B777, B787, ATR 42/72, PC-24, and PC-12, making significant contributions to global aviation supply chains.

“We are trying to leverage our capabilities to become an advanced manufacturing company, and we are working on building our relationship internally within the UAE and externally to leverage our manufacturing capabilities across various sectors,” she said.

More Than Just a Factory

Mariam Aljaberi, Head of Production at Strata Manufacturing, told Aletihad that continued high quality training and empowerment has been key to greatly upgrading the skills of the Emirati nationals working in the industry, which helped the company gain the trust of top players in the industry, resulting in major partnerships and agreements.

Several primary and secondary parts of aircraft for industry giants are manufactured at Strata, including critical parts like the vertical fin for the Boeing 787,  Aljaberi, who started in 2011 as a technician and currently oversees more than 400 staff, said.  

Investment in Manpower 

The company’s dedication to maintaining the highest international quality standards in the industry is evident in every aspect of its operations and production process. With unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation, development of manpower and transfer of know-how to local Emirati talents lies at the core of the company’s operations.

Strata’s achievements are driven by Emirati talent, and the high porportion of female staff reflects Strata’s commitment to gender balance and the empowerment of women in the manufacturing sector, Nawal Al Alawi, Human Capital Lead at Strata Manufacturing, told Aletihad.

“At Strata, we are committed to empowering UAE nationals and recruiting them…we are committed to providing a specialised training for UAE nationals in different programmes in collaboration with the different global aerospace firms and educational institutes,” Al Alawi said.

“We have a collaboration with Boeing, where we are sending our engineers there to get trained on the Boeing 787 project that we have already transferred to Strata for production of parts for this aircraft… Those engineers trained in the US are now transferring this knowledge to our current engineers here in Strata,” she said.

In 2010, Strata launched the Aero Structures Technician programme and more than 300 trainees have graduated from the programme since then, she said.

UAE nationals are leading and supervising different production lines and they play a crucial role in the development of the company and are actively participating in the innovations process, she noted.

A Nourishing Environment

As one walks through the corridors of Strata, the sense of pride and purpose is palpable among the company’s staff who refer to their company as “family and a symbol of national pride and ambition”.

As the driving force behind Strata’s achievements, embodying the vision of the UAE leadership for a diversified and sustainable economy, the Emirati professionals are fully aware that this is not simply a job as they are contributing to the UAE's competitive economic and knowledge landscape and know-how transfer.

Barraq Abdulrahim, Project Lead, Program Management & Business Performance at Strata Manufacturing, said being part of Strata is an extraordinary journey of the team that strives for excellence and innovation

“Throughout the years, this collective goal of delivering parts with precision and pride made in the UAE has been a testament to our shared vision and commitment to excellence,” he told Aletihad.

Abdulrahim, who received training overseas and worked on a production line, said he gained invaluable insights on the manufacturing process for aerospace components and attended intensive training and empowerment courses.

“I have honed my skills… Strata has been very supportive and showed the empowerment and dedication to continuous learning throughout the years, which all have given me the confidence and the expertise to tackle complex challenges, while driving innovation in aerospace manufacturing,” he said.

Strata’s commitment to empowerment is a clear reflection of its dedication towards advancing its position in global aerospace manufacturing. 

“It makes me so proud and honoured to be part of such a forward thinking company… My role in the aerospace industry is more than a job. It is a testament towards excellence. I have seen firsthand how individual contribution and the aerospace sector has contributed to the advancement of the UAE and the global aerospace industry,” he said.

“To the young Emirati, who are dreaming of a future among the stars, know that your passion is the engine for growth, take on every learning opportunity, resist and overcome challenges, but also know that your efforts today are shaping the future of our UAE’s tomorrow. This is how we elevate and solidify the UAE’s presence and leadership in global aerospace manufacturing,” said Abdulrahim.

Skilled Women Workforce

Mariam Ahmed, Senior Aerostructure Technician at Strata manufacturing, is the first Emirati woman to master running the automatic layup machine, which is a sophisticated, highly-advanced machine making high quality lay ups during the first process in the production or aircraft parts.

“I feel very proud to be able to run this machine and to be the first Emirati woman to do so. I have received the required training and certification in this regard and currently I am transferring my knowledge and expertise to other talented Emiratis as I have trained many so far,” she told Aletihad.

For Mariam, working at Strata is a mission to enhance the UAE’s position in the aerospace industry.

“This sector holds lots of potential and it is a promising industry for young Emiratis… I am full of pride for being part of Strata and to know that the aircraft parts that we manufacture are in planes all over the world,” she added.

Rakan Al Ameri, Manufacturing Engineer, who has been working at Strata for six years, said he has been part of multiple different projects, including one that involved the production of the vertical fin for the Boeing 787 aircraft.

“One of the greatest opportunities was going to receive training in the US, where I attended intense training courses that greatly helped me hone and advance my skills,” Al Ameri told Aletihad.

“This helped me be part of the process of transferring the knowledge locally… I am very proud to be part of Strata and one of the projects that I feel very proud of is being part of the 787 vertical fin team,” he added.

He added that the global recognition and the trust that Strata has earned over the years is a source of pride for him to be part of “this family”.

“If you look into all the aerospace companies around the world, Strata has achieved a lot and the recognition it has earned is massive. When you have a look at the global aerospace map and top players, Strata’s name is in there and this makes me feel very proud as a young Emirati,” he added.

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