Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday affirmed that private companies operating in the UAE in space industries have qualitative contributions and achievements that contribute to enhancing the country’s position as the leading and most advanced centre in the space sector in the region.
Sheikh Mohammed stated that the private sector in the UAE has become a key partner in supporting the national space strategy. This came when Sheikh Mohammed received the team from Marshal Intech, a subsidiary of the UAE’s Bin Ghalib Group working to develop a group of satellites that will be launched in December, beginning with a satellite named “Ghalib”.
The team includes a group of young national cadres specialised in advanced technologies, such as electrical and mechanical engineering, software, communication and electronic design.
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Regarding the space programme, Sheikh Mohammed said, “Providing support to Emirati entrepreneurs and encouraging young people to enter new economic fields represents a fundamental approach in the framework of establishing our position in the future industries sector. Achievements made by the UAE in recent years in the space sector have contributed to directing young Emirati thinking towards the future science, so as they can effectively contribute to building the economy of the Emirates of Tomorrow,” he added, noting, “Space industries have become a major nerve in the UAE’s economic system, in sync with the goals of the National Space Strategy, launched by the government in 2019.”
Sheikh Mohammed was briefed about the preparations of the Marshal Intech team to launch the first satellite, Ghalib, whose development began three years ago, which constitutes an important addition to the UAE’s efforts in the research, development and in designing space technology programmes.
The Vice-President heard from the team members, which is led by Omar bin Ghalib, Director of Marshal Intech, as they offered a detailed explanation about the stages and mechanisms of developing satellites, tracking devices, ground station readiness, models of electronic boards, transmitters and broadcasters, and the satellite equipment that the team is developing, with the aim of using them to track wildlife in the UAE to assist in monitoring animals and conservation.
The space industries sector in the UAE is the most developed and fastest growing in the region, in terms of investments and the size of projects, as well as the number of companies operating in this sector, as the UAE hosts more than 50 companies, institutions and establishments specialised in the space sector, including international companies and emerging companies.
The size of the UAE’s investments in the space industries sector is estimated at more than Dh22 billion, which includes various space projects, specifically in relation to planetary exploration and the development of communications and satellite technologies, in addition to applying the latest in space technology for terrestrial uses. One of the most important sustainable space projects in the UAE is building an advanced satellite system, among which is “Khalifa Sat”, which is the first Arab-Emirati satellite designed and built entirely by Emirati national cadres.
In July, the UAE successfully launched the ‘Hope Probe’, the Arab world’s first mission to Mars. The UAE also plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024 as part of the Emirates Lunar Mission, the first Arab mission to the Moon.