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Will space be the next territory for UAE businesses to reach out to?

Dubai: The UAE Space Agency has launched an initiative that would explore commercial possibilities from the country’s growing interest in space.

An economic survey that specifically looks into space was brought out in collaboration with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority. The survey will provide ‘a clear picture of the UAE space sector’ to its partners and stakeholders.

Video: Virendra Saklani | Editing: Anas Thacharpadikkal | Reporting: Nivetha Dayanand

“The survey is an important tool that helps in enhancing the decision-making process, drawing strategic policies, and contributing to economic indicators,” said Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and the Chairperson of Emirates Space Agency. “The annual survey will help contribute to preparing national space training plans and programs and following up their implementation and evaluating their performance and effectiveness.”

UAE Space agency
Sarah Bint Yousef Al Amir presenting Partners Excellence Awards at the launch of the space sector Economic Survey. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

The UAE Space Agency had announced Dh3 billion national investment and development fund to support programs that aim to support international and Emirati companies working in leading-edge sectors. The Fund will actively encourage partnerships between international and local organizations and companies, providing them with incentives as a part of the UAE Space Agency’s Space Economic Zones Programme.

Once live, the survey will:

  • Record the number of facilities operating in the UAE space sector.
  • Measure the volume of foreign investment in the sector and the value addition of the space sector.
  • Measure the contribution of the space economy to the economy of the UAE.
  • Calculate the actual spending on space projects and investment efforts in research and development and space exploration.
  • Quantify the number of human competencies in space facilities operating in the country

“The idea [of the survey] is to measure the effect of the initiatives, the strategies, space strategies in the UAE to see how the effects of these initiatives being conducted and executed on terms of the economy,” said Abdulla Al Marar, Head of the Space Projects Section, UAE Space Agency.

This will encourage the authorities to launch new value-adding initiatives and support the efforts of startups and SMEs operating in the sector.

“The survey is one of the relevant national projects that focus on the economic aspect such as ‘space economic zones’ and its initiatives, which include incentives for the space sector, space laboratories, and other empowerment tools,” said Al Amiri.