UAE has advanced space capabilities. File pic of UAE Space Agency and International Astronomical Center's plan to monitor China's Tiangong-1 space lab, for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: UAE Space Agency

Dubai: The latest edition of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2021) will be held in Dubai in October, bringing together high-level stakeholders from space agencies and institutions around the world.

Hosted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), along with the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), IAC 2021 will take place from October 25 to 29 at World Trade Centre.

The UAE is the first Arab country to host this annual, high-profile gathering of the international space industry and Dubai is the first city in the region to host the event in its 70-year history.

The theme of the 72nd edition of the event is ‘Inspire, Innovate & Discover for the Benefit of Mankind’.

The purpose of this event is to exchange information and ideas, discuss developments and advances, and share insights on strategies and rising trends in the fields of space research and exploration.

UAE’s capabilities on show

Yousuf Al Shaibani, Director-General, MBRSC, said: “As we draw nearer to the launch of the first ever [IAC] in the Arab region, we are excited that soon some of the world’s best minds in the space industry will be in the UAE to learn, share experiences, and to chart a new way forward for the space sector. Delegates and participants that will be visiting the UAE will not only be able to witness first-hand the futuristic capabilities of the country, but also the ways in which we are engaging collaboratively in the space sector and thereby contributing to the development and popularity of this field in the region.”

Professor Pascale Ehrenfreund, President, IAF, said: “The IAC 2021 is our chance to inspire the next generation, to architect the further development and expansion of the space sector’s growing ecosystem. In fact, this congress is a unique opportunity to contribute in breakthroughs that revolutionise the future of space exploration.”


This year’s edition will entail a plenary programme with the ‘Heads of Agencies’ roundtable, and various sessions focusing on ‘Future Mars Sample Return Missions’, the role of ‘Emerging Space Agencies, Small Satellites’, and the views of the ‘Next Generation’.

IAC 2021 will also feature an exhibition of the latest developments in the field of space technology and research.