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18 April 2024

Al Qudra unveils $100m academy

Senior officials at the inauguration of the academy. (MAGDY ISKANDER)

By Nissar Hoath

Al Qudra Holding yesterday inaugurated the region's first academy that provides real time simulation of industrial facilities in the country and the entire Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

The Emirates Simulation Academy (ESA), developed with an investment of $100 million (Dh376 million), is a joint venture between Al Qudra, Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (Cert) of Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) and GSE Systems of the United States.

Located in Abu Dhabi Technology Park, the facility was inaugurated by visiting President of Comoros Islands Ahmed Abdullah Mohammed Sambi, Al Qudra CEO Mahmood Al Mahmood and Dr Tayeb Kamali, HCT Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chairman of Cert.

The ESA became operational with the inauguration yesterday, and offers five programmes with systematic and in-depth coverage of operator fundamentals and unit-specific systems as well as practical hands-on simulator exercises.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, said: "The ESA was established to provide to the UAE and the Mena region, the most effective training methodologies for industrial facilities and plant operations."

"The method of choice to achieve these objectives is application of real-time simulation-based learning to industrial and technical processes. Simulator-based training provides a risk-free opportunity for trainees to develop expertise and gain practical experience in improving operating processes and procedures and in dealing with emergencies," he explained.

The academy will train skilled professional leadership for the country's industrial plants.

It boasts five simulation classrooms, which are all designed to address the operational needs for the region's main industries, including power generation, water desalination, petroleum refinery and offshore oil and gas platform.

The institute will enrol students from across the Mena region.

"The simulation expertise that will be developed through the ESA should train our own citizens to be leaders in the application of information technology to the new knowledge economy and, thereby, making the UAE even more competitive in the emerging world economies," Sheikh Nahyan said.

Al Mahmood said the partnership for Al Qudra was in line with its one of main objectives – to continually improve both industry and community.

"ESA supports these objectives by expanding professional skills and enhancing industry effectiveness.

"At a time when our region is especially reliant on oil, gas, and other energy sectors, ESA fills a critical role by being the main opportunity for professionals to be trained on emergency situations. Additionally, ESA is vital to industry as it will equip companies to run more efficient operations."

Khalid Al Marri, Alternative Chairman of ESA, while commenting on the project, said it was critical to have a well-trained workforce that is equipped with necessary operational and emergency skill for the oil and gas industry and other energy sectors.