CEO Today - Middle East Awards 2024

Rabih, what inspired you to start FEDS Drone-powered Solutions in the UAE, and how did you address the initial challenges of introducing drone services to major industries such as oil, gas, and infrastructure? It was honestly a chance encounter. I was on a business trip in 2013 when I was introduced to the concept of commercial drones. Then I spent the next year researching and collecting data on how I could bring a revolutionary piece of tech to the region. The initial challenges were regulations because back then, there were no regulations on drones and, even more specifically, on commercial drone use. So, we had to work with the local regulators and build a regulatory system from the ground up. Dubai’s future-forward approach made it possible to bring technology from the brink of obscurity and turn it into reality. Once we tackled the regulatory side of things, it was a matter of convincing industry leaders that these flying marvels could disrupt their workflow for the better—on that front, the drones really speak for themselves. FEDS has been a pioneer in the Middle East drone industry. Could you share an example of how drone technology has significantly improved operational efficiency or safety for one of your clients? By eliminating downtime and maintaining operational continuity, our drone solutions have saved clients millions of dirhams annually. Consider the example of flare stack inspections in Oil and Gas fields. Traditionally, this process required shutting down the stack, allowing it to cool, and venting all fumes to make it safe for human inspectors. This process, combined with extensive paperwork, could take weeks to months—and that’s before the inspection even began. With drones, we can conduct inspections while the flare stack remains active. This not only eliminates downtime but also allows operations to proceed seamlessly. In terms of safety, removing the need for human inspectors to enter hazardous environments significantly enhances safety standards. Financially, this efficiency translates to millions saved through simplified operations, avoiding downtime, and decreasing hazards. CEO Today Middle East Awards 2024 - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - - 38 -

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