Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan along with Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Lt Gen Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan attend a reception for the KhalifaSat engineering team at Al Zabeel Palace. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, received the Emirati engineering team that helped design, build, and launch KhalifaSAT into orbit. 

The reception ceremony was held at the Za’abeel Palace in Dubai.

Their Highnesses congratulated the team on their outstanding achievement that has become a source of pride for the UAE and the Arab world

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed highlighted the importance of the KhalifaSAT launch as a key milestone in the UAE’s journey towards becoming a key player in the space industry.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid stressed that with the launch of KhalifaSAT – the first advanced satellite to be 100% developed by Emiratis – the UAE has reached a new milestone in its path to success in the space industry. 

“Our determined efforts to become one of the leading countries in the space industry is yielding results. The future of our beloved country as a hub for innovation lies in the hands of its energetic youth who never settle for anything less than perfect,” Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid added.

He added: “The engineering team behind the success of KhalifaSAT has paved the path for other Emiratis to continue in their footsteps. They have proven that they are on par with their international peers in the space industry.” 

“My brother Mohammad Bin Zayed and I strive to position the UAE as a major hub for scientific research and an incubator that prepares Arab engineers in the space industry,” he further said.

Shaikh Mohammmad Bin Rashid underlined the success of the UAE in building and sustaining a robust development model that opens new horizons for its young scientists and engineers to thrive. 

“Just as our ancestors were undisputed leaders in astronomy, we will help create the foundation for a new Arab model for achieving technological prowess in the development of satellites,” Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid said.

Raising the UAE flag high

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed congratulated the team members.

“We take pride in your outstanding achievement that has raised our flag high and our ambitions even higher. It is your dedication and passion that has paved the way for this breakthrough,” he said. 

Speaking to the team, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed said: “This is yet another groundbreaking achievement by Emirati youth. You have set a perfect example for other Emiratis to follow and helped the UAE take its first steps into the space age. KhalifaSAT’s success is a key milestone in the history of our beloved land and its people.”

The KhalifaSAT team of engineers thanked Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed for their constant follow-up and encouragement.

The vision and ambition of the UAE’s leadership have been the driving forces behind the success of KhalifaSAT.

"We will march on with confidence and help realise our country’s dream of becoming a global hub for the space industry," the team said.

The reception ceremony was attended by Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation Shaikh Nahyan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; National Security Advisor Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Chairman of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, Shaikh Ahmed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum; and Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Also attending the reception were Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi; Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi; Minister of State Sara bint Yousif Al Amiri; Director of the Presidential Protocols at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Mohammad Abdullah Al Junaibi; Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi; Director General of the Protocol and Hospitality Department in Dubai, Khalifa Saeed Suleiman; Chairman of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Talal Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi; Chairman of the Board of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre and Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri; and Director General of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre, Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani.

KhalifaSAT, which bagged five patents and developed seven space innovations, is the first satellite to be 100-per cent developed and assembled in the UAE by a team of Emirati engineers.

Launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan aboard the H-IIA rocket, KhalifaSAT will capture and deliver high-quality detailed images and gather data for monitoring environmental changes, detecting the effects of global warming, ensuring responsible urban planning and management, and aiding relief efforts at times of natural disasters.