Sharjah Leadership Program delegates visit headquarters of the UAE Space Agency

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With over USD 5.5 billion in investments, UAE is largest investor in the region’s space industry

UAE: Delegates of the Sharjah Leadership Program; an initiative of the Sharjah Tatweer Forum, a part of the Rubu’ Qarn Foundation for Creating Future Leaders and Innovators, recently visited the headquarters of the UAE Space Agency, the government entity responsible for the development of the country’s space industry. The group was welcomed by His Excellency (H.E.) Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General, UAE Space Agency.

During their visit, delegates took part in a discussion covering key topics concerning the agency and the space industry, which included supportive services, the country’s space strategy and the future of the UAE space industry, policies, legislation and partnerships. With investments and interests totalling around USD 5.5 billion, the country has been identified as the largest investor in the region’s space industry.

The visit was aimed towards making the delegates aware of the UAE’s current efforts to become a leader in the global space sector–inspiring future generations and seeing how the industry can help contribute to the national economy and support the transition towards sustainable development. Representatives of the UAE Space Agency briefed the delegates on the significance of utilizing space-inspired technologies for everyday activities as well as for more complex operations concerning national security or the management of natural disasters.

“Today’s visit to the UAE Space Agency is part of SLP’s continuing efforts to learn more about the country’s emerging sectors,” said Jassem Albloushi, Member of Board of Trustees, Rubu Qarn Foundation for Creating Future Leaders and Innovators. “The space industry represents a new industry that the UAE is looking to explore and excel in. In line with this, we sought to learn from the UAE’s lead proponent, the UAE Space Agency. The visit has given us an understanding of its vision, mission and the strategies they wish to implement to achieve sustainable development. We would like to thank H.E. Dr. Al Ahbabi for welcoming us and giving our participants a detailed briefing about the agency and the space sector.”

Delegates took note of the key points shared with them during their visit. To date, a total of 500 professionals work for the UAE’s space program–50 per cent are comprised of UAE nationals, and 40 per cent are still in their youth. The country currently maintains and operates 12 satellites and has forged strategic international partnerships as part of the move to advance the UAE’s space programs and initiatives, which in turn, reinforces the country’s position as a regional centre for space services and techniques. The agency, in particular, has placed strong focus towards public-private partnerships.

Participants were also briefed on the move to explore new frontiers while also explaining why investing in space poses great benefits and advantages to the country like increased national knowledge, creating global cooperation, economic expansion and consolidating the UAE’s place among key players in the space industry. Lastly, the visiting delegation learned about the UAE Space Agency’s various programs and campaigns that are part of the unified efforts to solidify the country’s position as a global player in the space industry, including its visionary plan to create a city on Mars by the year 2117.

The UAE Space Agency, the first national space agency in the region, was established in 2014, and is responsible for organizing, regulating and supporting the national space sector under federal law. This includes the complete oversight and funding of space missions such as the Mars Hope Probe, the UAE’s unmanned mission to Mars.