French technology group Thales and the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a rail academy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The academy will focus on the creation and deployment of professional and academic training programmes to support the UAE’s main line rail and urban transport developments.

CERT Group CE Tayeb Kamali said: "This cooperation will greatly help to develop a new generation of highly skilled UAE nationals ready to serve the long-term development and strategic goals of the UAE and the Gulf region.

"Our partnership with CERT is a key milestone for genuine local empowerment in the railway field."

"Our significant partnership with Thales enables CERT to extend its provision of world-class professional and academic programmes to future managers, technicians and engineers, while benefiting from Thales’s unique experience in delivering turnkey solutions."

This MoU will support Thales and CERT’s joint venture, CERT Thales Institute, which was formed in 1999 to offer technical training solutions in the UAE in defence domain in 1999.

Thales UAE country director Thibaut Trancart said: "Our partnership with CERT is a key milestone for genuine local empowerment in the railway field.

"We offer recognised turnkey training solutions from design, development, implementation, up to leadership coaching and support to operations for large-scale technical academies and institutes.

"This new partnership with CERT will definitely support the development of the railway industry in the UAE and add value in the Emirati training & education market."

The move is in line with the UAE Government’s plan to develop and sustain national assets and human capital in the UAE’s high-tech industry fields.

Image: CERT/Thales institute in UAE. Photo: courtesy of Thales Group.