Two young emiratis in Ollioules, France

Stagiare Ollioules

30 March 2023 International Surface ships Story

Ali Almheiri and Khalid Alnaboodah have much in common. Both interns at Ollioules, come from the United Arab Emirates, and their internship is part of the SEEDS Program, an Emirati acceleration program managed by Tawazun, UAE’s defence and security authority for the Armed Forces and Abu Dhabi Police. In addition, two other things bring Ali and Kahlid together: a passion for technology and a determination to actively support their country’s sovereignty.

Khalid Alnaboodah has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with several programming skills, including Catia, C language and Matlab. He was an intern at CEMIS, our Centre of Excellence for Information, Human factors and Signature Management, for six months. ‘After I completed my studies, I applied for the SEEDS program, and I started an internship at Naval Group, which was a great opportunity to gain experience and improve my knowledge of defence’, explains Khalid. At CEMIS, he focused on analysing the performance of several estimation algorithms used for real and simulated underwater acoustic signals. Although he knew of the Naval Group’s position as key naval defence player before he joined CEMIS, Khalid was pleasantly surprised to find the environment of a research lab within an industrial group. ‘I will return to the UAE to apply what I learned here in France. Also, I am grateful that Naval Group offered me the opportunity to attend the IDEX event in UAE. It’s a great opening to UAE’s defence companies that I would like to join tomorrow’, concludes Khalid.

Like Khalid, Ali Almheiri integrated Naval Group as an intern through SEEDS, a UAE program that aims to increase national capabilities based on opportunities with leading defence and security players worldwide. The program is part of the Tawazun Economic Program that offers EAC companies a new route for generating credits through offering value-driven development programs and job placement opportunities to UAE nationals. An acceleration program, SEEDS aims to ‘increase national capabilities through international exposure opportunities with leading international companies operating in the defence and security industry’.
Highly tech-savvy, Ali has a bachelor’s degree in IT and skills in Android Development, Web Development and Database Management. I have been an intern for a temporary time during the last two years, initially in remote mode due to confinement. Since September 2022, I have been on-site at Ollioules to test a wide range of functionalities of the combat management system, explains Ali. In the same way as Khalid, he talks about the support he got from his manager, tutor, and the team he joined. Ali sees naval defence as essential to a country’s sovereignty and is enthusiastic about having had the opportunity to learn from other experts, as he believes that one should never stop learning and expanding knowledge in the broadest sense, not limited to technology but also covering soft skills like communication and leadership. “As soon as I return home, I will look for a position in the defence industry. I will apply what I have learned at Naval Group and improve my technical skills in the field’.