Dubai: Oman has unveiled ambitious plans for the establishment of the Middle East’s inaugural spaceport, slated for full operational status by 2030.
Named Etlaq, this cutting-edge facility is designed to accommodate space launchers of various sizes and strategically located in the port city of Duqm. The announcement was made during the Middle East Space Conference in Muscat by the National Aerospace Services Company (Nascom), the entity overseeing this groundbreaking project.
This revelation follows Nascom’s introduction of the concept over a year ago, underscoring the nation’s commitment to becoming a significant player in the rapidly evolving space industry.
Azzan Al Said, Chairman of Nascom, revealed that Etlaq is currently in the planning stages, with development scheduled to commence by 2025.
The spaceport aims to adhere to the rigorous standards set by the US Federal Aviation Administration, positioning itself as an attractive destination for international space exploration companies.
Renowned aerospace giants such as Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic have expressed interest in utilising the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates, as launch sites for their space tourism flights.
The equatorial position of Oman’s port in Duqm provides a unique advantage to the venture, making it an ideal location for space launches.