UAE Space Agency chief says Emirati investments in space sector total $6bn so far in 2018
The UAE Space Agency has revealed that it is preparing a comprehensive strategy for investing in the UAE’s space sector, in cooperation with relevant authorities, which will be announced in October.
Dr Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, director-general of the UAE Space Agency, said that the strategy will help reinforce the contributions of the space sector to the national economy, based on knowledge.
In an interview with the state news agency WAM, Al Ahbabi said that increasing the contributions of the space sector to the national economy is a strategic goal of the agency.
He added that the strategy will establish the required framework and guidelines for further investment in the space sector on national and international levels.
He added that the total value of Emirati investments in the space sector increased from AED20 billion in 2015 to over AED22 billion during the first part of the current year.
Al Ahbabi revealed that the signing of a key agreement between the UAE and NASA will be announced shortly.
Earlier this month, the UAE named the two Emiratis who will be the first to go into space to the International Space Station following an extensive search for astronauts.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister, Vice President and Dubai Ruler, tweeted that he was proud to announce the success of Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Nayadi.
He said he hoped the duo would "raise the bar for an entire generation", adding: "We have the only Mars probe program in the region; our satellite industry has realised its full potential; we have UAE astronauts; we have a space industry worth AED20bn & we have aspirations without limits... When given the opportunity, Arabs can reach for the stars."
The final two were chosen after a shortlist of nine candidates competing to become the UAE’s first astronauts underwent tests recently in Moscow.