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Sarah bint Youssef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and President of the UAE Space Agency, during the virtual session on Thursday. Image Credit:

Dubai: The UAE mission to explore Venus and the asteroid belt is a milestone that will “attract local and regional investments as well as talents specialised in advanced technology and space industries to the country.

This was underlined by Sarah bint Youssef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and President of the UAE Space Agency, during the third virtual session on Thursday, following the announcement of the Projects of the 50.

Al Amiri noted the space mission will “consolidate the UAE’s position as a destination for promising emerging projects in space technologies”.

The latest space mission was launched by the UAE on October 5, as part of the “Projects of the 50”, the new national agenda that establishes a new development cycle in various economic sectors.

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Improving quality of life

During the online session, Al Amiri stressed the importance of the new project in sustaining the growth of the space sector in the wider GCC region. She added space technologies and sciences generated by engineers and will contribute to improving the quality of life in future cities and societies around the world.

Al Amiri also commended the efforts of the Kingdom of Bahrain in empowering young talent and emerging projects in advanced technology sectors for the space sector, and for joining the Arab Group for Space Cooperation — “confirming its keenness to invest in space and future sciences”.

Expertise in space sector

For his part, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Asiri, CEO of the National Space Science Authority (NSSA) in the Kingdom of Bahrain, said: “The royal vision for the Kingdom focuses on investing in space and future sciences as a means of enhancing sustainable economic development. It is keen to empower talents, expertise and promising ideas in the space sector, to enhance the presence of youth and women in such fields, and to consolidate the principle of international cooperation in space exploration and related technologies in order to serve humanity”.

He noted the NSSA comprises talented Bahraini youth, with women making up more than 60 per cent of the workforce, of which more than 66 per cent hold leadership roles.

Investment opportunities

Ali Al Hashimi, CEO of Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), said: “The UAE currently has more than 17 orbital satellites, with 10 other satellites being developed. The UAEhas more than 50 companies, institutions and space facilities operating within the country, from international to emerging companies. We hope that these numbers will multiply many times over the next few years, especially with the announcement of the UAE project to explore the planet Venus and the Asteroid Belt, which will carry out unprecedented scientific missions over a period of five years from 2028 to 2033.”

“There are promising opportunities for cooperation in the field of space technology and satellites among GCC countries,” he added.

The expenditures of UAE’s space sector is over Dh22 billion and includes more than 20 local start-up companies in the sector, with local and international companies now operating in the Emirates in specialisations related to the space sector and its industries.