H.E. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi

Director General, UAE General Civil Aviation Authority

UAE Chairman of Arab Civil Aviation Commission Council

H.E. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi was the winner of the Prime Minister's Medal for the Best Director-General in the UAE for 2017.

He was appointed director-general of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in April 2008 and continues to lead the agency in its quest for more innovations and reforms.

On October 5, GCAA marked the UAE Civil Aviation Day by elevating awareness on the aviation sector among both nationals and foreign nationals in the country.

The first commercial flight arrived in the UAE in October 1932 from Pakistan. Today, the UAE aviation industry leads in infrastructure and technology innovations and international traffic volume, employing more than 500,000 people (both directly and indirectly) and contributes approximately AED169 billion (about US$46 billion) equivalent to 15 percent of the country's GDP.

“We have much to be proud of as a nation and as an industry;from humble beginnings, the UAE has become one of biggest passenger hubs in the world. Our airports and airlines are consistently ranked among the best internationally and the UAE is ranked as the top ICAO member state in compliance level with ICAO requirements under the USOAP Program,”said Mr. Al Suwaidi in his speech marking the occasion.

“The future of the sector is also bright, the current development projects and expansion of the country's airports will accelerate growth in the aviation industry over the next few years.” An air force veteran, Al Suwaidi held various senior management positions in the UAE Air Force, including as director of Air Force Operations, before he was tapped for the GCAA post.

GCAA is a federal autonomous body set-up to oversee all aviation-related activities in the UAE.Mr. Al Suwaidi began his career in the aviation industry in 1983 as a UAE air force pilot. In 1995, he took up his first Master's Degree at the Command & Staff College in Cairo, Egypt. He later obtained a Law Degree from the Beirut Arab University in Lebanon, graduating in 1999. A lifelong learner, Al Suwaidi took up his second master's degree from the National Defense University in Beijing, China,graduating in 2006.