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Salem Al Qubaisi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency speaking at the World Government Summit on Wednesday in Dubai. Photo Clint Egbert/Gulf News Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: The Middle East space sector is poised to touch US$75 billion by 2032 — a sharp rise from existing US$25 billion.

The numbers were shared by leaders of the space industry during a panel discussion on “The Potential of the Space Sector in the Middle East” held at World Governments Summit 2024 in Dubai on Wednesday.

Speaking at the event, Salem Al Qubaisi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said: “The UAE is fast becoming a pioneer in space industry while the space sector in the Middle East is expected to triple by 2032 owing to the massive potential in the region. Al Qubaisi added all the numbers reflect positively on how robust the space sector is looking in the Middle East.

At the World Governments Summit 2024 being held at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, Al Qubaisi also said the UAE Space Agency expenditure has risen by 16 per cent, implying the sector is looking robust.

He said 56 per cent of that expenditure has come from government spending while the rest has been from the private sectors engaged in the space industry.

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Also present at the discussion was Dr Mohamed Al Aseeri, Chief Executive Officer, National Space Science Agency of Kingdom of Bahrain who spoke about the successful collaborations that his agency has had with the UAE Space Agency so far.

Bahrain’s first satellite was first put into orbit in 2021 and it was done in cooperation with the UAE Space agency. This collaboration with the UAE Space Agency is one of the best success stories for the Middle East in the field of space.

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Dr Shareef AlRomaithi, Chief Executive Officer, Madari Space, during a session at the World Government Summit 2024 in Dubai on Wednesday. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

No challenges only opportunities

Dr Shareef Al Romaithi, Chief Executive Officer of Madari Space, noted: “There is no doubt that the Middle East region is becoming a hotspot for space exploration and space activities. If you look at the market value today, it stands at $25 billion. And it will be tripled in the next 10 years. I am confident that as we look into the future, the Middle East region will continue to play a pivotal role within the global space narrative, and be seen as a serious contributor towards space exploration and the development of space technologies alongside other spacefaring nations.

Young minds in space sector

Al Qubaisi said: “We need fresh blood all the time. We have robust programmes that take care of fresh cohorts to develop their skills and upgrade it. We try to do this not only as a public sector but also in collaboration with private sector as well. There is a need to develop the skills we need, focusing on research and development and technologies that need to be developed within our academia.”