What factors inform the attractiveness of Abu Dhabi as a location for the international defense sector?

  • Nouf Ebrahim Alzaabi

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    The purpose of this study is to explore potential factors that may have contributed to the emergence of Abu Dhabi as a significant global location and regional hub for the international defense industry. In doing so, this research paper aims to establish and evaluate a range of candidate variables that contribute to Abu Dhabi's attractiveness major international defense companies as a location for doing business and identify any distinct characteristics that distinguish the United Arab Emirates (and Abu Dhabi more specifically) from other nations with similar characteristics. The study – which offers insight into the ways by which Abu Dhabi has increasingly drawn major international defense firms into the city – tackles a significant topic in the contemporary world. Patterns and trends in the global manufacturing of arms has a considerable bearing on the international security. Notwithstanding the fact that the unprecedented scale of globalization recorded in recent years has enabled multinational corporations to venture into any advanced region, Abu Dhabi still remains a leading destination for international defense firms. In this regard, the study will provide valuable information and an in-depth understanding on how the United Arab Emirates has benefited from a defense market that is open to international defense firms. The research will utilize a qualitative approach to collect primary data from interviews with employees of major international defense firms and secondary data from current scholarly literature and research. The proposed results from the study suggest that the aspects that have broadly enhanced Abu Dhabi's capacity to attract the international defense industry include political and economic stability, a steadily developing high-end technology sector, and the availability of an expansive market for advanced weaponry. However, data collected and analyzed indicates that the most important factor for international defense firms in the selection of global locations for business is market size. The UAE's expansive possession of arms makes the country, and Abu Dhabi in particular, an important location for business. This paper contributes to existing studies on the rapid economic growth and development of Abu Dhabi over the last few decades across a wide range of industries, which can largely be attributed to a stable and favorable business environment.
    Date of AwardDec 2021
    Original languageAmerican English


    • International defense industry
    • global military sector
    • military establishments
    • defense industrialization
    • globalization
    • high-end technology
    • stability
    • advanced weaponry.

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