The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) EDGE Group and Italy’s Fincantieri, have announced the formation of a joint venture (JV).

The agreement sees EDGE hold a 51% stake, with a commercial pipeline estimated at €30bn (Dh117bn).

The JV, solidified through a term sheet signed in Rome, Italy, signifies a strategic alignment between EDGE’s technology capabilities and Fincantieri’s shipbuilding expertise and knowledge in the field. The partnership aims to capitalise on burgeoning global shipbuilding opportunities, particularly in the production of naval vessels.

Unlike traditional collaborations in the maritime sector, this venture has a unique emphasis on non-NATO orders, leveraging the strategic advantages of UAE’s government-to-government arrangements and export credit financing packages. This grants the JV access to markets, further bolstered by select NATO member countries’ strategic orders.

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Hamad Al Marar, Managing Director and CEO of EDGE Group hailed the partnership as a milestone, “Through this transformative joint venture with Fincantieri, we are not just expanding EDGE’s diverse capabilities in shipbuilding but setting a new benchmark for collaboration and knowledge exchange in the global maritime industry.”

Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO and Managing Director of Fincantieri echoed Al Marar’s sentiments, “We are honoured and eager to join forces with EDGE Group to create a unique industrial platform that addresses with maximum entrepreneurship and distinctive competencies the sizable market opportunities originated in UAE and from UAE to the international markets”.

Fincantieri and the UAE have ties. Fincantieri has built the Abu Dhabi-class corvette and the Falaj 2-class light combat vessel for the Emirati Navy, according to GlobalData’s intelligence on the United Arab Emirates defence market

Fincantieri also has more experience working in the Middle Eastern naval market. Fincantieri completed Qatar’s naval procurement programme by delivering the fourth and final Al Zubarah-class corvette, Semaisma, on May 16, 2023. 

Central to the venture’s strategy is establishing a dedicated design authority, which will serve as a hub for skill development. The JV aims to cultivate a new generation of naval engineers and designers by fostering a collaborative environment that attracts both Emirati and international talent.

The EDGE Group has recently embarked on multiple strategic ventures. EDGE acquired a 50% stake in Brazilian smart weapons manufacturer SIATT, signalling its expansion into the Latin American market. This expansion continued with an agreement with Saha Istanbul, bolstering military ties between Turkey and the UAE. Additionally, EDGE Group purchased a majority share (52%) in the Swiss VTOL systems manufacturer ANAVIA.