Over the past 25 years HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum has been at the forefront of Dubai’s remarkable economic development spearheading the successful expansion of aviation and, more recently, formulating economic, investment and fiscal policies and strategies in support of the emirate’s overarching vision.
Sheikh Ahmed embarked on his career in the aviation industry in 1985 when he was appointed President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) – the governing body that oversaw the activities of Dubai International and Dubai Duty Free, among others. In the same year Emirates Airline – Dubai’s international carrier was launched with Sheikh Ahmed as its Chairman. He is now the Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, which includes dnata – the region’s leading travel services and ground handling company, and other aviation related entities.
Under Sheikh Ahmed’s leadership, the DCA underwent an organisational restructuring in April 2007 resulting in the creation of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) as the local regulatory body, and Dubai Airports as the owner and operator of Dubai’s airports – Dubai International and Dubai World Central. Following the restructuring, Sheikh Ahmed became the President of DCAA and Chairman of Dubai Airports.
The fact that Dubai is now firmly established as the region’s most desirable leisure destination is due in no small measure to the efforts of Sheikh Ahmed. Under his leadership, Dubai International
HE Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi was appointed as Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in April 2008.
Prior to joining the GCAA, Al Suwaidi, a career air force veteran as pilot, held several senior positions in the UAE Air Force, including his last tour as Director of Air Force Operations.
Upon his graduation from flying school in Abu Dhabi as a helicopter pilot, Al Suwaidi started his career as a pilot in the UAE Air Force in 1981. He served as Head of Training and Operations at Al Minhad base in Dubai in 2001. He was appointed as Deputy Director Operations in the UAE Air Force in 2006, and promoted to Director of Operations before being appointed as Director General of GCAA. Al Suwaidi, who obtained a law degree from Beirut Arab University in Lebanon in 2004, has been appointed as Chairman of Arab Civil Aviation Commission Executive Council in May 2010.
The GCAA is the federal regulatory agency of the UAE, primarily responsible for aviation safety, security, regulation of civil aviation and overseeing the development of air traffic control system in the UAE airspace and air transport agreements.
The authority, in partnership and cooperation with all stakeholders of the UAE aviation industry, represents, promotes and advances the collective aviation interests and views in international forums and organisations. The GCAA is governed by a Board of Directors which represents the UAE aviation community.
Mohammed A Ahli is the Director General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) and CEO of Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS). As the top official in the DCAA, dealing with air service agreements, he has brought in more airlines to Dubai. Mohammed is a popular figure in international circles and an expert negotiator who possesses the decision making power to ensure growth of aviation in Dubai.
His contribution towards liberalisation of aviation policy and its successful implementation in Dubai is a landmark in his career. He was among the pioneers who were instrumental in the establishment of the Emirates Airline.
With an extensive background in the aviation industry, Mohammed has steered the Dubai Aviation in the right direction, which is his lifetime achievement.
The services he has rendered to Asia and Asia Pacific Region of ACI, is well recognised by the aviation community and it summarises his commitment to its cause. He is also the First Vice President of Airports Council International (ACI) Asia/Pacific region, which has given a boost to the Asian and Middle East Region.
Capt Abdulrahman Al Gaoud was one of the first cadet pilots recruited by Gulf Air to be sent to the Oxford Flight Training Academy in the United Kingdom to obtain his commercial pilot’s licence in 1970.
He was also seconded to Aer Lingus, Dublin and British Airways, London, to undergo training and to gain flying experience. He returned to work with Gulf Air in various positions including Executive Vice President Operations, and Acting Chief Executive. He also has the distinction of being the first Arab citizen to be a Captain.
Capt Abdulrahman has 30 years of flying experience and was also the test pilot responsible for taking delivery of most of Gulf Air’s B767 and A340 aircraft. In 1996 he was appointed as Assistant Undersecretary for Aviation Services, Civil Aviation Affairs, Ministry of Transportation. In 2002, he was promoted to Undersecretary for Civil Aviation Affairs, a position he currently holds. He is also the Chairman of the organising committee of the inaugural Bahrain International Airshow.
In addition to his normal duties as the Undersecretary for civil aviation, he also sits in as an observer on the Board of Bahrain Airport Services. Other positions that he held include: head of Executive Committee and Member of the Board of Directors of Gulf Air; Board Member of Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Company (GAMCO).
Capt Abdulrahman is married with six children. He continues to fly on the Gulf Air A330 in order to retain his licence.