The UAE Space Agency has revealed that it is preparing a comprehensive strategy for investing in the UAE’s space sector, in cooperation with relevant authorities, which will be announced in October.
Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, said that the strategy will help reinforce the contributions of the space sector to the national economy, based on knowledge.
In an interview with the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Al Ahbabi said that increasing the contributions of the space sector to the national economy is a strategic goal of the agency while noting that the strategy will establish the required framework and guidelines for further investment in the space sector, on national and international levels.
He added that the total value of Emirati investments in the space sector increased from AED20 billion in 2015 to over AED22 billion during the first part of the current year while space industries, especially satellites and related services, are key drivers of the country’s economic growth.
Al Ahbabi stressed that the UAE will participate in the World Space Conference that will be held in October in Germany, where Emirati engineers from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and the agency will present many relevant scientific papers while highlighting the importance of the international event, especially as the UAE won the bid to host the 71st session of the conference in 2020, which will be held in Dubai.
Al Ahbabi revealed that they will announce the signing of a key agreement between the UAE and NASA during the conference while pointing out that the "UAE Space Programme" is based on many technical and legislative foundations. The UAE owns 10 satellites and is preparing the launch of its first Emirati-made satellite, the "Khalifa Sat," by the end of the coming month, he further added.
He stated that the UAE has a comprehensive and ambitious astronaut programme while highlighting the announcement of the names of the first two Emirati astronauts, Hazaa Ali Abdan Khalfan Al Mansouri and Sultan Said Muftah Hamad Al Niyadi, who are currently taking intensive courses to prepare for their launch into space in April 2019.
Al Ahbabi noted that over 4,000 candidates applied for the programme, and female candidates represented around one-third of the total candidates while adding that the UAE conducts space exploration missions, and the Hope Mars Probe is one of its key global projects.
Al Ahbabi further said that the legislative policies of the UAE space sector have achieved the integration of the country’s space programme while noting that there is a policy that regulates the space sector, and a space law and a national strategy for the sector will be announced soon.
He affirmed that the UAE is advancing its space programme while stressing that the sector’s achievements and leading projects reflect the support of the country’s leadership.
He said that the UAE, as per the vision of its visionary leadership, aims to become a global leader, and the space sector is part of its comprehensive long-term vision.