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24 Dec 2014 13:00

As part of its efforts to develop its UAE national workforce, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has seconded Jaafar Al Baloushi, one of the first Emirati licensed lawyers working in the airline, to train at two of the most reputable international law firms in the UK. 

Jaafar will spend 12 weeks working alongside top legal professionals in Enyo Law LLP and DLA Piper UK LLP where he will be introduced to the UK’s judicial system and litigation proceedings as well as international commercial and aviation law with a specific focus on commercial disputes and competition claims.

Jaafar started his career in Etihad Airways as a VIP Protocol Officer in 2010 and graduated in the same year from the Dubai Police Academy with a legal degree.  He joined the legal department as a Legal Advisor where he enhanced his technical legal expertise, working with the inhouse team and external law firms on challenging cases related to labour, criminal and commercial law.

With support from Etihad Airways, Jaafar had the opportunity to further advance his skills with progressive training programs leading up to his becoming a registered lawyer in the UAE Judicial Department and the Ministry of Justice in April 2014.

In his role as Etihad Airways’ legal advisor, Jaafar attended expert legal meetings and established a respectable record as a legal adviser at many trials.  He has completed 60 hearings at Abu Dhabi courts specialising in labour, commercial, criminal, and family law,

He also completed an IATA Aviation Policy and Advocacy course in Geneva in April 2014.

Jaafer said: “I am grateful to Etihad Airways for this once in a lifetime opportunity to work alongside some of the best lawyers in the world. Working in such renowned law firms will help me gain better understanding of British and International legal systems, aviation law and competition regulations as well as pleading and procedures.

Etihad Airways’ General Counsel Jim Callaghan said: “With the rapid expansion of Etihad Airways into regional and global markets, it is crucial that we develop a strong Emirati team of lawyers and legal experts.

“Jaafer has quickly built a reputation as a first-rate lawyer focused on local affairs and by working in well-established international law firms, we are sure he will enhance his expertise even further and get better acquainted with international air law and regulatory policies in the aviation industry.”

As part of developing UAE national workforce and offering them the opportunity to gain international working experience, Etihad Airways has deployed 157 Emiratis in overseas positions across the airline’s global network.

An additional 37 UAE national employees will be deployed by Etihad Airways in markets across the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, bringing the total number of Emiratis on international placements to 194 by the end of 2014.

This represents an increase in the number of UAE national staff on international work placements by over nearly 200 per cent compared to the end of last year.

Ray Gammell, Chief People and Performance Officer at Etihad Airways, said: “Sourcing and developing talented UAE nationals is at the heart of our people strategy at Etihad Airways. Emiratis are now the number one nationality group at managerial level. As UAE National representation across the business increases each year, Emiratisation remains our top priority.”


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