Expo 2020 Dubai: UAE wants private sector to invest in space, Minister says

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The UAE is keen to invite private sector companies to invest in the space, as they seek to transform the country into a global player in the sector.

Speaking at the Space Business Forum at Expo 2020 in Dubai, Sarah Al Amiri, United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Advanced Technology and President of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, said: “In our next mission that we announced recently – the exploration of the asteroid belt – we will work together with our private sector to provide this valuable know-how, experience and expertise, so that they can enter the race for the future. ‘space. “

The volume of UAE investments in the space sector over the past four years amounts to 9 billion dirhams, with around 70 companies working in the space sector.

In addition, the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, in cooperation with strategic partners, is currently working on a set of scientific programs to facilitate and enable the private sector to invest more in the space sector.

According to statistics from the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, the volume of spending in the space sector of private companies reached 50% of total spending in 2019.

Fatima Salem Al Shamsi, Head of Space Policy and Regulations Section, UAE Space Agency, said: “This is a good percentage and confirms the great interest shown by private sector companies to invest in this area. vital. The government of the United Arab Emirates is focused on establishing and implementing projects in the space sector in cooperation and partnership with the private sector.

“This is a strong incentive to attract national and international companies operating in the UAE to invest in the space sector, looking at successful experiences such as Farmin, a technology company using satellite imagery and intelligence. machine to monitor crops which was supported by the UAE Space Agency and Krypto Labs at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.

Thought leaders who spoke at the forum stressed that the UAE’s strategic location contributes to ease of communication, providing ingredients for successful investments in space.

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Speaking earlier at the Expo, Al Ameri said, “We play an active role in strengthening partnerships with leading organizations globally to promote peaceful and mutually beneficial space exploration.

“Expo 2020 Dubai Space Week represents an opportunity to build on our long-standing relationships with a wide range of stakeholders to carry out our mission of creating a world-class space sector in the United Arab Emirates. “

The minister also pointed out that the achievements of the UAE in sending the first Arab astronaut into space, successfully launching a spacecraft to Mars and building locally developed satellites are testament to the country’s growing commitment in this area. .

Nandini Sircar