The Business Year

HE Nadir A. Al Hammadi

UAE, UAE, ABU DHABI - Transport

Get to the Chopper

Chairman, Abu Dhabi Aviation

Bio

HE Nadir A. Al Hammadi was born in 1967 and graduated from Embry Aeronautical University in Florida with a degree in Aviation Electronics. He then continued his studies at Warwick University in Engineering Business Management. His professional career began at Gamco in 1990, and he was later instrumental in the establishment of GAMAERO. In 1996, he joined Presidential Flight and held several key management positions, responsible for Maintenance and Engineering. In 2007, he was appointed as the Deputy CEO of Presidential Flight. In 2009, he joined Abu Dhabi Aviation Board as its Managing Director. Two years later, he was appointed as the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Aviation. He also holds the Chairman’s post at Deco Vision and Tamouh Investment, while also serving as a board member at other private companies.

"Offshore is our bread and butter; this is what we have done for years."

In a highly specialized industry, labor represents an important part of success. How does your human capital policy attract the expertise required to support your operations?

When we talk about human resources, we talk about our own business. We have to look at what differentiates one operator from another, in the sense that the same regulation is applied to all by civil aviation, but it doesn’t make a big difference except in the caliber of the people that you use to carry out the task. Therefore, we have been very conscious of the fact that we are a service provider. Our focus and strategy has developed and evolved on providing quality services to our clients, meaning to achieve this we have to attract, train, and retrain human capital, which is what we do now. The main focus of this organization is on the production side, people who work on the anchor floor, engineers, and pilots, to make sure we will always have the best. Therefore, we provide them a decent way of living. To achieve this objective, we always try to look at what is important to the employee. We look at logistics support. Graduates travel in and out and they work from six to six. As a part of our plan, Abu Dhabi is becoming a busy city, and we offer our own accommodation for employee families. We started providing accommodation for our single workers, but now we are moving our plan toward employee families as well. This will provide them with peace of mind when it comes to variables. We don’t want our staff to suffer. Therefore, we try to maximize what we can do for them. The other part of the plan is to ensure that our employees are aware of their job, what they want to do, and when they need to deliver. Basically, this is our human resources policy, and I think over the years it has proven to be a great strategy, as we have had some people with us for more than 25 years.

One of the services that you provide is training. You do it internally but also to support your customer base. To which type of institutions do you provide training?

We provide different services that we were able to sponsor outside Abu Dhabi. We are looking for clients who have been in our position at some stage, where they need somebody to come with experience to support them as they grow their business. This has created an opportunity abroad because we are not looking for giants or established institutions, because they are most likely in the same position as we are. We are looking for somebody who wants to start a new business, but doesn’t know how to grow. We will go there and support them, and we have great examples. We were able to grow the business of a small Brazilian operator, who we started a partnership with five years back. After five years, we could pull back and let it go its own way. We are happy that we were able to support it. It is not a specific training course, just training for the engineers and pilots, but we also transfer know-how.

“Offshore is our bread and butter; this is what we have done for years.”

The largest share of your business is to support the offshore oil industry. In which other sectors are you looking to expand?

Offshore is our bread and butter; this is what we have done for years. When it comes to other sectors, we started with search and rescue, and we gained a significant amount of experience in Saudi Arabia with the Red Crescent. Actually, it is been excellent being part of its program because it was just starting up, and we started with it. It was a challenging experience, because we were dealing with clients that wanted to start a new business in a new area with new rules and regulations, and they were trying to do it independently. This kind of environment has created a quality team with a high amount of knowledge in the business. After three years, we started to focus in-house, and we were able to win a similar activity with an oil company in the UAE by providing medical support. Abu Dhabi Aviation partners with specialists who provide medical care; we provide the aircraft, and this partnership provides the ideal solution for our clients. I believe this is a good strategy, and we are expanding the business and providing more training courses. We built our own simulator, which will cover the training needs of all our clients in the UAE and the MENA region. Clients in the Middle East don’t need to go to Europe for training anymore. To expand this business, we have a separate building just for the simulator, and we are trying to develop it to be an international hub for helicopter training. This will mean that different platforms, aircraft, and manufacturers can come here and we will be able to offer training to many clients. Additionally, we do fire fighting courses in Europe, seismic work, VIP transfers, filming, and lifting. For example, to celebrate 100 years of Aston Martin in 2013, we lifted an Aston Martin Vanquish to the top of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

What is the vision of Abu Dhabi and the aerospace sector in the long term?

If I look back over the last five years, I think Abu Dhabi has made a major statement in the aviation industry as a whole, whether it is from Etihad Airways or other related industries. In my opinion, Etihad Airways has performed a kind of miracle over the last decade. I have been in this industry for over 25 years, and I am very impressed with what it has done. Abu Dhabi has its own position and statement when we come to aviation; therefore, we will see more expansion when it comes to number of flights in and out of Abu Dhabi. We will also see more airlines from here flying to new destinations. This is happening so rapidly, but in reality it is something we never expected. Aviation is an economic enabler.

© The Business Year – July 2014

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

You may also be interested in...

James Anthony Morse President, Rabdan Academy

UAE - Health & Education

James Anthony Morse

Interview

President, Rabdan Academy

Saif Humaid Al Falasi Group CEO, ENOC Group

UAE - Energy & Mining

Saif Humaid Al Falasi

Interview

Group CEO, ENOC Group

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi CEO, Masdar

UAE - Energy & Mining

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi

Interview

CEO, Masdar

View All interviews