On Tuesday, the UAE announced the establishment of EDGE, a defense giant set to become the biggest in the Middle East.
The entity was inaugurated by Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at a huge event held in the emirate, according to The National.
EDGE is expected to form partnerships with over 25 world-leading weaponry and defense contractors, and aims to speed up the creation of innovation that can effectively target "cyber attacks, drones, the spread of misinformation and other threats to security" both in the UAE and abroad.
Some claimed the firm's establishment came in response to the drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia's Aramco facilities, which shut down half the country's oil production units in September.
However, officials have since refuted this claim, saying the company "was not formed as a direct reaction" to the attack but as part of a more expansive defense strategy.
From its unprecedented scale to the devices it aims to launch, here's all you need to know about the UAE's EDGE:
1. The group will be headed by a former cybersecurity chief
EDGE will be headed by Faisal Al Bannai, the former managing director of the UAE cybersecurity company DarkMatter.
The official was named the chief executive and managing director of the conglomerate "based on his start-up background and proven track record in leveraging emerging technologies to expand business opportunities at home and abroad," EDGE said in a statement.
Speaking to The National, Al Bannai explained the vision behind EDGE and why it was launched, saying "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," he added.
2. EDGE sets to combine over 25 state-owned and independent companies
EDGE's mission is "to disrupt complacency wherever it is found and move with speed and practicality to deal with fast-changing threats."
To achieve that, the entity is set to combine over 25 companies. In the first phase of its formation, EDGE will bring together firms functioning as part of the Emirates Defense Industries Company (EDIC), Emirates Advanced Investments Group (EAIG), and Tawazun Holding.
3. It is expected to employ more than 12,000 people
The conglomerate will be a major job provider as it will employ more than 12,000 people.
Employees will be distributed among the firm's various departments which include cyber defense, mission support, missiles and weapons, platforms and systems, and electronic warfare and intelligence.
EDGE is also expected to rake in huge profits for the UAE with revenues expected to reach up to $5 billion.
4. The defense firm will focus on autonomous devices
EDGE was formed to solve issues arising from an existing, yet outdated defense industry.
To modernize the sector, the company will focus on the creation and usage of autonomous devices such as "drones, the Internet of Things, advanced propulsion systems, robotics, and smart materials, as well as artificial intelligence."