PV manufacturer First Solar has strengthened its presence in the Middle East by appointing its first Vice President of Business Development for the region.

Ahmed Nada will operate from the company’s Dubai office, leading business in the Middle East excluding Saudi Arabia, where First Solar is looking to establish separate operations.

He will report to to Christopher Burghardt, Vice President of Business Development for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Nada joins First Solar from General Electric where he spent 14 years, most recently as Regional General Manager of the company’s oil and gas Middle Eastern division.

Nada said: “Utility-scale solar power offers a compelling solution to the region’s growing energy needs, and this is a great opportunity to leverage First Solar’s proven technology and global experience to provide the best value to our customers here.”

First Solar is already active in the Middle East. It was the developer of the 5MW PV plant at the experimental Masdar City project in the UAE and recently won a bid to construct a 13MW plant in Dubai for the Dubai Electricity and Water Company.