Mideast Momentum

From global tech to sales and services, Boeing innovation in the Middle East reaches new heights as partnerships soar.

fully developed, the robot head, called an end-effector

When fully developed, the robot head, called an end-effector, connects to a collaborative robot and a mobile base, undergoes integration and testing in Australia, and helps build the 787 Dreamliner vertical fin in the United States.

The starting point for this global project and others is the Middle East, considered by Boeing as one of the most strategic marketplaces for airplane sales, aftermarket services, and research and technology.

Boeing selected several Middle East countries ...




Saudi Arabia


... to run a pilot program in which Boeing invoices are received and paid through automation. Ahmed Ali, a Boeing finance integrator in the Netherlands, is part of the team introducing newly developed business information technology to make payments without interruption or error.

We’re able to deliver things faster, more accurately and without waste. We’re able to use our best people to analyze instead of having repeatable tasks done by humans.

—Ahmed Ali, Boeing finance integrator in the Netherlands

Ahmed Ali, Boeing finance integrator in the Netherlands

Boeing Saudi Arabia employees in Riyadh pursue new aerospace business and form alliances across the Middle East’s largest country.

In early 2019, Boeing and Saudi government and mining entities signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the development of raw materials into aerospace-grade aluminum that would be used to build commercial jetliners — and encourage airplane sales in the region.

Ahmed Malesh, Boeing lead research engineer in the UAE

The region has a diversified portfolio in new technologies that Boeing will rely on for a very long time. We’re tackling many fronts and trying to do disruptive work before we get disrupted. It’s spirit-lifting.

—Ahmed Malesh, Boeing lead research engineer in the UAE

In this region of mostly coastal countries, Boeing maintains partnerships in research — from robotics and artificial intelligence for commercial airplanes and financial recordkeeping, to biofuels, to raw materials for creating aerospace-grade aluminum — as well as services that include modification of F-15 jet fighters, an expanding parts distribution center and more.

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Robotics and AI

Amani Alonazi, Boeing artificial intelligence scientist

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Maintenance, repair and overhaul

F-15 jet fighters for the Saudi Air Force

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Parts distribution

Parts distribution

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Boeing’s partnerships and growing footprint in the region support an expanding aviation and services market in the Middle East. Per the Boeing Commercial Market Outlook:

Over the next


Middle East will need


of which


And with 70% of the cost of each airplane attributed to life-cycle needs, services will make a marked difference in the region’s ability to successfully support a diverse and growing fleet.

In terms of aviation growth, Boeing’s presence in the region is essential. It’s a natural hub, connecting everything on this side of the world.

—Anees Abdullah, Boeing associate director for Strategy and Business Operations Integration in Saudi Arabia

The global nature of his job motivates Fahad Alkhateeb, a Boeing information technology engineer in Saudi Arabia. From Riyadh, he works virtually with colleagues in Singapore and Seattle.

As a Boeing employee in the Saudi Arabia, he has an ideal vantage point to see aerospace and the region come together.

When you get local experience and different backgrounds together for the same goal, the amazing will happen. We all work as one team. You can’t find any other company doing what Boeing is doing.

—Fahad Alkhateeb, a Boeing information technology engineer in Saudi Arabia

Story by

Dan Raley

Photos by

Bob Ferguson, Sami Al Otaibi, Tim Reinhart and Waleed Shah

Videos by

The Boeing Company